Computer Aided Learning Package

10,000 3,000

Topic Description

The principle objective of this final year project was to design a Computer Aided Learning (CAL)
package to teach second year students the Computer Science module, ‘Computer Networking’. A
questionnaire was carried out to find out the students’ thoughts about the current method of lecturing.
Other research was based on Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and designing Graphical User Interfaces
(GUI). An investigation took place regarding educational software and also the field of prototyping.
Extensive work was also based on the design methodologies available.
The following was achieved in the following project:
1. Topicion and evaluation of two questionnaires;
2. Analysis and evaluation of the requirements for the package;
3. Evaluation of educational software design techniques, including issues concerning HCI and
4. Evaluation of topics concerning the contents of the package;
5. Extensive research regarding programming languages;
6. Analysis of existing CAL packages;
7. The design and development of the CAL package;
8. A detailed evaluation of the system produced.
The CAL package is able to take into account the diversity among students, which is presently impossible
for lecturers to achieve. There won’t be a problem concerning the slower students being left behind in
class for they can now take as long as they wish when using CAL. The material presented is of high
quality making poor grades due to bad teaching a thing of the past. The student can learn the material
anywhere in the world and at a time that is convenient for them (as long as there is an Internet
connection). The students will no longer be able to snooze whilst in the lecture theatre because the CAL
package forces a certain level of human interaction.
CAL packages are able to provide the student with a whole range of additional benefits such as online
resources, more visually stimulating examples including animation, the ability to refer to linked material
on the web, the asking of questions relevant to the topic at all times throughout the lecture plus many
This project is specific for computing students. However, the skeleton of the package could be used as a
generic tool to create any module’s material from all subjects taught.

Chapter 1 Introduction ————————————————————————————- p1
1.1 Problem ————————————————————————————- p1
1.2 Project Aim and Objectives —————————————————————– p1
1.3 Minimum Requirements —————————————————————– p1
1.4 Deliverables ————————————————————————— p2
1.5 Project Schedule ————————————————————————— p2
Chapter 2 Computer Aided Learning —————————————————————– p3
2.1 Accommodation of Human Diversity ——————————————— p3
2.2 Simulators ————————————————————————————- p4
2.2.1 Advantages of Simulators ——————————————————- p5
2.3 Enhancements ————————————————————————— p6
2.4 Evaluation of existing packages ——————————————————- p7
Chapter 3 Design———————————————————————————————– p8
3.1 The General Custom of Software Design ——————————————— p8
3.2 Design Methodologies —————————————————————– p8
3.3 Prototyping ————————————————————————— p11
3.4 Developing Environment —————————————————————– p13
Chapter 4 Generating design requirements ————————————————— p16
4.1 Reading ————————————————————————— p16
4.1.1 Learning Theory and Designing Instructional Media ————————– p16
4.1.2 Human Computer Interaction (HCI) ——————————————— p18
4.1.3 Educational Software Design ——————————————————- p19
4.1.4 Theory behind Designing the User Interface ———————————– p21
4.1.5 Instructional Enhancers ——————————————————- p22
4.2 Introduction to Questionnaire ————————————————————- p23
4.3 Results and Design issues —————————————————————– p23
4.4 Conclusion ————————————————————————— p25
4.5 Features ————————————————————————— p25
Chapter 5 System Design ————————————————————————— p27
5.1 Conceptual Design —————————————————————– p27
5.1.1 Student Access —————————————————————– p28
5.1.2 Navigation ————————————————————————— p28
5.2 Physical Design ————————————————————————— p30
5.2.1 Graphical User Interface ——————————————————- p30
5.3 Physical Displays ————————————————————————— p30
Computer Aided Learning Package
Chapter 6 Implementation ————————————————————————— p33
6.1 Visual Basic & Flash ———————————————————————– p33
6.2 Package Features ————————————————————————— p35
Chapter 7 Testing and Evaluation —————————————————————- p41
7.1 Testing ———————————————————————————— p41
7.1.1 User Testing ————————————————————————– p41
7.1.2 2nd Questionnaire —————————————————————- p41
7.1.3 Thinking Aloud ——————————————————————— p43
7.1.4 Heuristic Evaluation —————————————————————- p44
7.2 Evaluation ———————————————————————————— p44
7.2.1 Minimum Requirements ——————————————————- p45
7.2.2 Extensions ————————————————————————— p46
7.2.3 Project Method —————————————————————– p46
7.2.4 Comparison with existing CAL systems ———————————— p48
7.3 Further work ————————————————————————— p49
References ———————————————————————————————– p51
A – Reflections ————————————————————————— p53
B – Gantt Chart ————————————————————————— p55
C – 1st Questionnaire ————————————————————————— p56
D – 2nd Questionnaire ————————————————————————— p69
E – Thinking Aloud ————————————————————————— p78
F – CAL Reviews