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Compare & Contrast Future Flight vs. First in Math Gwenanne Salkind & David Van Vleet EDIT 732  October 3, 2005.

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Presentation on theme: "Compare & Contrast Future Flight vs. First in Math Gwenanne Salkind & David Van Vleet EDIT 732  October 3, 2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 Compare & Contrast Future Flight vs. First in Math Gwenanne Salkind & David Van Vleet EDIT 732  October 3, 2005

2 Learning Environments Constructivist NASA Future Flight Objectivist 24 Game: First in Math User id: love Password: math

3 Learning Context “An essential concept in the constructivist view is that learning always takes place in a context…” (Ertmer & Newby, 1993, p. 64). Future Flight is set in an authentic context. Students are asked to find a solution to a real-world problem involving air transportation and aircraft design.



6 Learning Context There is no real-world context in the First in Math site. Students play a game to practice computational skills.

7 Learning Goals Constructivists believe that the goal of instruction is “not the acquisition of a specific, well-defined bit of content, but rather the ability to learn in a content domain. Learning to learn – including the ability to ask questions, evaluate one’s strategies, and develop answers to questions in the content domain – is the goal” (Duffy & Cunningham, 1996, p. 182). In Future Flight, learning goals are negotiated by the students. Students choose the problem they want to work on. They determine how to research the problem based upon their understanding of the problem and the questions they generate.

8 Learning Goals In First in Math, instructional goals are imposed by the website. Learners move through the skill levels by demonstrating acquisition of skills.

9 The Learner Constructivists believe that learners “build personal interpretations of the world based on individual experiences and interactions” (Ertmer & Newby, 1993, p. 63). In Future Flight, the learner actively constructs meaning by choosing a real- world problem, formulating research questions, and exploring the website to find answers to those questions.

10 The Learner Behaviorists believe that “learning is accomplished when a proper response is demonstrated following the presentation of a specific environmental stimulus.…Behaviorism…contents that responses that are followed by reinforcement are more likely to recur in the future” (Ertmer & Newby, 1993, p. 55). In First in Math, the learner works individually to practice computational skills. Stickers and smiley faces are awarded for correct answers.

11 Content “Constructivists favor…student-centered, goal- directed inquiry over externally directed instruction” (Land & Hannafin, 2000, p. 6) and complexity of content and concepts to be learned (Dabbagh & Bannan-Ritland, 2005, p. 174). In Future Flight, the content is ill-structured and complex in nature. Students solve the problem through inquiry, information- gathering, and reflection. Their research is student directed.

12 A student log is used to provide scaffolding. The log supports students through the learning process.

13 Content “Behavioral… conceptions of instruction seek to analyze, decompose, and simplify tasks in order to make … learning easier and more efficient” (Jonassen, 1991, p. 8). There is an “emphasis on mastering early steps before progressing to more complex levels of performance (Ertmer & Newby, 1993, p. 56). On the First in Math website, the learning content is recall of basic mathematics facts and computational fluency. Complex tasks are broken down into smaller more manageable tasks that can be mastered separately. There is a prescribed sequence for learning. Students progress through skill sets.

14 First in Math – Skill Sets

15 Learning Activity Constructivists believe that “learning is an inherently social-dialogical process.” Students work in groups to “share alternative viewpoints” and to “promote the dialogical interchange and reflexivity” (Duffy & Cunningham, 1996, p. 187) In Future Flight, students work collaboratively to solve a problem. They choose real-life roles based upon their interests. These roles provide multiple perspectives for looking at the problem.

16 Learning Activity In First in Math, students work individually. The learning activity is competitive. Students compete against the clock and against other students. There is a team competition, but they never talk to their teammates.

17 Learning Activity In the behaviorist realm “instruction is structured around the presentation of the target stimulus and the provision of opportunities for the learner to practice making the proper response. Instruction frequently used cues and reinforcement (Ertmer & Newby, 1993, p. 57). In First in Math, cues are given at the early stages of skill development to help the learner give the correct response.


19 Assessment Future Flight has authentic assessment. If students choose to build an aircraft, they can take a simulated flight test. Students are asked to present the solution to their air transportation problem to an air transportation committee consisting of student peers. A rubric is used to rate the presentation.


21 Assessment Objectivists see “learning primarily as the acquisition and strengthening of responses (Wilson & Myers, 2000, p. 60). Assessment usually involves a test to see if learners can perform a skill (Duffy & Cunningham, 1996, p. 186). In First in Math, correct answers are reinforced by stickers and smiley faces. This positive reinforcement strengthens the likelihood that the correct response will occur in the future. Learning outcomes are measurable behaviors. The number of stickers earned are counted and reported. Teachers can access these reports.


23 Future Flight Authentic context Construct meaning Negotiated Ill-structured Complex Student directed Collaborative Multiple perspectives Authentic assessment First in Math No real-world context Practice Imposed Well-structured Manageable tasks Prescribed sequence Competitive Measurable behaviors Positive reinforcement

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