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Octopus: a collaborative environment supporting the development of effective instructional design

Mylonakis Emmanouil

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Year 2016
Type of Item Master Thesis
Bibliographic Citation Emmanouil Mylonakis, "Octopus: a collaborative environment supporting the development of effective instructional design", Master Thesis, School of Electronic and Computer Engineering, Technical University of Crete, Chania, Greece, 2016
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Instructional designers and teachers share a common goal: making instruction appealing, effective and maximizing the learning outcome. Towards this goal their roles are complementary and integral. However, despite the technology for instructional design available (standards and tools), instructional designers and educators are still working separately, leading to poor instructional design that can result in ineffective encounters, inefficient activities, and finally unmotivated learners. A main reason for that is that current technology (e.g. standards and tools) does not meet their needs and expectations. On the one hand the IMS Learning Design standard is very complex for instructional designers and teachers to understand and use as a common language and on the other hand current tools, especially those close to the standard are not highly usable. This calls for usable tools or environments supporting the educator and instructional designers’ needs and collaboration among them, while staying compatible with standards. In this thesis, we present Octopus, a web application providing an environment to support the collaboration of instructional designers and educators and the development of educational templates and scenarios,that can be used and reused in different educational contexts. Octopus pays special attention on the users' needs (instructional designers and teachers), while it stays compatible with standards. Thus, usability studies have been performed from the earliest development steps, while a number of workshops have been organized with the participation of pedagogy experts and teachers. Octopus has been used in three EU projects, where a large number of educational templates and scenarios have been developed. Furthermore, Octopus has been used to implement the laboratory section of an educational design course at the Pedagogical Department of Pre-school education of the University of Crete. During this course 240 students (80 students per semester for three semesters) used Octopus to design their educational practice sessions and document their implementation.

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