Instructional Software

Instructional software refers to the programs that can be used to deliver instruction or to assist with the delivery of instruction (Roblyer 2016).  Teachers often search for relevant instructional software to integrate within the classroom.  Below you will find an explanation of the five different types of instructional software and examples of each type that can be incorporated in the high school English classroom.

Drill and Practice

Drill and practice software allows students to work independently on example items and receive feedback on their correctness.  The software gives appropriate feedback for correct and incorrect answers while increasing fluency.  Additionally, drill and practice allows for students to participate in effective practice in order to commit information to long-term memory.  While there are many benefits to drill and practice instructional software, there is one major concern, too.  Many educators fear the overuse of drill and practice.  The overuse of drill and practice can lead to learner fatigue and student burnout with respect to the software.  The advantage to drill and practice in the ninth grade English classroom would be that students could practice and master key vocabulary words for each unit of study.

Examples:

Quizlet Vocabulary Flashcards

https://quizlet.com/99137448/search-for-self-vocabulary-periods-1-and-3-flash-cards/

Tutorials

Tutorials provide an entire sequence on a topic as it is considered self-contained as opposed to supplemental.  Tutorials are geared to students who are solid readers.  The students should be able to exhibit thorough control while utilizing a tutorial that is pedagogically appropriate.  The tutorial will have the capabilities of both judging responses and giving accurate feedback.  This is a great option when teachers are unavailable.  This can be used for the enrichment that so many students do not receive during the day.  The drawback to such a program is that the student is isolated while participating in such a tutorial.  The relative advantage of using tutorial software in my ninth grade English classroom would be to offer additional enrichment for advanced students.  This enrichment would be beneficial to students interested in specific areas of study (Roblyer 2016).

Examples:

Essay Punch– an online writing tutorial

http://www.essaypunch.com/

Simulations

Simulation software allows learners to choose the tasks they would like to complete.  Both physical and iterative simulations are possible (Roblyer 2016).  At times, simulation software can be cheaper than the real experience.  Additionally, simulation software allows for a user to learn from mistakes and try again.  For example, when dissecting a frog in science class, students can correct mistakes made during dissection without spending additional money for a new frog.  Simulation software is a nice way to increase student engagement.  Also, using the simulation software can give students opportunities that they would not always have.

Examples:

Google Cultural Institute

https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/u/0/home

Google Lit Trips

http://www.googlelittrips.org/litTripLibrary/grades9-12.php

Instructional Games

Instructional game software is very popular right now.  Students find it appealing and engaging.  Instructional game software can teach important non-cognitive skills like attention, perseverance, and many other life skills (Roblyer 2016).  There are a few disadvantages to this type of software.  The question that many educators have is if the true instructional value of the software can be measured.  Is it possible to determine the difference between learning and having fun?  While there can be some instructional value, it is important to use this strategy sparingly.  I use a few instructional games in my classroom in order to serve as review.  This can make reviewing for a test more engaging as all students compete against one another instead of one or two students answering a question at a time.

Examples:

Kahoot

https://getkahoot.com/

Problem-Solving Software

Problem-solving software focuses on the problem solving skills in a specific content area or a non content area (Roblyer 2016).  This particular software gives tools to assist students in solving problems.  These problems can be content or non content related.  The goal of the software is to improve interest and increase motivation. The problem with integrating with this type of software is the amount of time in can take to create and integrate.  In the ninth grade English class, NTeQ can help facilitate incorporating problem-solving software in the curriculum.

Examples:

NTeQ

https://harding.instructure.com/courses/252480/assignments/556125

 

Resource:

Roblyer, M.D.  Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching.  7th Edition.  Pearson, 2016. VitalSource Bookshelf Online.

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3 thoughts on “Instructional Software

  1. Hi, Colleen- Two components of your post really stuck out to me. One was your use of the word “relevant” in your first paragraph, and the other was your comment about how instructional software can be valuable for advanced kids needing a challenge. I have found that simply implementing technology is of little value until the educator implements it effectively. Part of this is finding relevant content that will be rewarding to the students and their futures. I also find that one of the biggest struggles I face as an educator is challenging my above-grade level students. Different components of instructional software, thankfully, have given me this opportunity, which I discuss in my blog post. Also, you mention Kahoot in your post. I have heard of this resource. Would you recommend it and if so, how would you use it?
    Claire

    Like

  2. Hey Colleen,
    Thanks for introducing me to EssayPunch. I try to incorporate different type of writing assignments in my curriculum, my main content area is Marketing. EssayPunch looks like something I could have my students take part of at the beginning of the school year so they could understand what I will be looking for in their later writing assignments.

    Like

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