Coming Off the Rails: Evaluation and the Design Process

Coming Off the Rails: Evaluation and the Design Process

Liz Marr (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK), Dave Randall (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK) and William L. Mitchell (The British Council, UK)
Copyright: © 2003 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-105-6.ch006
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Abstract

This chapter addresses methodological issues concerned with the design and creation of computer-supported collaborative learning environments. It draws on the work of a group of sociologists and computing scientists who together, and independently, have been researching the use of museum environments and artefacts as educational resources for primary-school-age children (six to 11 years old). This work has in part focussed on requirements elicitation for interactive, computer-based collaborative virtual environments (CVEs) and has included a range of techniques including interaction analysis, ethnography, conversation analysis and participative design strategies. Evaluation work carried out with children using and developing Web-based CVEs suggests that no single requirements elicitation technique is adequate in this context and participative design techniques might benefit from insights afforded by a grounded ethnographic approach. We argue that knowledge of context, awareness of educational goals and practice, and an understanding of the nuances of interactive activity are vital for the design and development of useful and useable online educational resources and that evaluation should be integrated with the design and development strategies.

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