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Novice and Expert Collaboration in Educational Software Development: Evaluating Application Effectiveness

, , New Jersey Institute of Technology, United States

Journal of Interactive Learning Research Volume 19, Number 2, ISSN 1093-023X Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC


In an attempt to hone the role of learners as designers, this study investigates the effectiveness of an instructional software application resulting from a design process founded on the tenets of participatory design, informant design, and contextual inquiry, as well as a set of established design heuristics. Collaboration occurred among learning systems researchers, educational technology consultants, college students studying software engineering and multimedia design, and primary school students to create a game-like software application for developing mapping skills in young urban students. A two-group pretest/posttest quasi-experimental design was conducted between two groups to measure the effectiveness of the application versus traditional classroom instruction. Descriptive, empirical results indicate that students using the software application afforded a marginal net benefit from pre- to posttest and, when tested on concepts covered by areas of the software that are conducive to fantasy, the experimental group experienced a greater benefit relative to students in a classroom setting. Results show a significant difference in four instances of the instructional software application. Generally, the collaborative, participatory design process caused a positive change in the academic climate for all stakeholders.


Friedman, R. & Saponara, A. (2008). Novice and Expert Collaboration in Educational Software Development: Evaluating Application Effectiveness. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 19(2), 271-292. Waynesville, NC: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved March 23, 2019 from .


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