Instructional Software – Relative Advantages

Below are listed the relative advantages of five types of instructional software:

Drill and Practice

Particularly when isolated skills need to be honed, drill and practice software can benefit the teacher by saving time in creating additional individualized practice.  For the student, the advantage is access to additional drills that provide specific feedback.  According to Roblyer and Doering (2013, p. 84), the advantages of using drill and practice software “have been well-established by research.”

Tutorials

The relative advantage for integrating tutorials into the classroom is the convenience of providing missing or additional instruction to meet students’ needs.  The flexibility of accessing an online tutorial at anytime from anywhere, as well as the flexibility to proceed through a tutorial at one’s pace are other advantages.

Simulations

Relative advantages of simulations are that can provide cost and time effective, as well as interactive practice for students who are solidifying concepts.  Because the simulations are often available online anytime or anywhere, they provide a flexible, repeatable learning opportunity.

Instructional games

The relative advantage for this type of software is for the additional amusement while exercising skills.  Students will enjoy playing games that provide interest, levity, and entertainment.

Problem Solving software

The relative advantage for problem-solving software is that it often offers unexpected situations that demand higher order thinking skills.  Some software, such as Minecraft, may even promote engagement.

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