A New Approach to Developing Interactive Software Modules through Graduate Education


Sanders NE, Faesi C, Goodman AA. A New Approach to Developing Interactive Software Modules through Graduate Education. Journal of Science Education and Technology. 2014;23 (3) :431-440.


Educational technology has attained significant importance as a mechanism for supporting experiential learning of science concepts. However, the growth of this mechanism is limited by the significant time and technical expertise needed to develop such products, particularly in specialized fields of science. We sought to test whether interactive, educational, online software modules can be developed effectively by students as a curriculum compo- nent of an advanced science course. We discuss a set of 15 such modules developed by Harvard University graduate students to demonstrate various concepts related to astronomy and physics. Their successful development of these modules demonstrates that online software tools for education and outreach on specialized topics can be pro- duced while simultaneously fulfilling project-based learn- ing objectives. We describe a set of technologies suitable for module development and present in detail four exam- ples of modules developed by the students. We offer rec- ommendations for incorporating educational software development within a graduate curriculum and conclude by discussing the relevance of this novel approach to new online learning environments like edX.

See also: WWTA General
Last updated on 06/22/2019