Interfaces for instructional use of simulations

Robert de Hoog, Ton de Jong, Frits de Vries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

The learner interface is the component of an instructional system that mediates between a learner and the system. Two fundamentally different approaches for interfaces can be distinguished: conversational methapor and direct manipulation metaphor. Interfaces in both metaphors can be scaled on a dimension indicating the ‘distance’ between the user's intentions and the physical expression. In combining the dichotomy small and large distance with the conversational and direct manipulation dichotomy, four different interface types result. These 4 types can be applied to both the input and the output side of the interaction. Combining these yields a (4×4) 16 cell ‘space of interaction’ matrix. This matrix is used as a background for the rest of the paper.

We will distinguish three generic entities in the interface for instructional simulations: the model entity, the learning entity and the control entity. The model entity is further subdivided into an output and an input aspect, respectively covering the domain model and learner activity. The learning entity consists of an instructional aspect and a learning process aspect. The first one is related to instructional goals and the latter comprises everything that is related to the learning process of the learner. The control entity is mainly for high level control of the simulation environment, giving the learner the opportunity to quit, save and sequence.

All aspects of simulation learning environments have to be integrated on one screen. An attempt is made to define generic action and object classes which can be used for this ordering of input and output. Finally, we will give a brief summary of desirable hardware properties.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-385
JournalEducation & computing
Volume6
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1991

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