Saturday 9:30 - 10:20 AM
Room 403, TTI
The Nature of Explanation: Implications for Computer-Enhanced
University of Canberra, Australia
One of the great advantages of using computers in learning is that they
appear able to provide indivisualised explanations or feedback for learners.
For instance, a recent study comparing various forms of feedback in the
context of CELL (Lee, Smith and Savage, 1995) suggests that feedback containing
an explanation of why a learner's incorrect response is erroneous is very
This paper will examine the nature of explanation in general and continue
with an examination of specific types of explanation in both CELL and non-CELL
contexts with a view to defining and identifying forms of explanation appropriate
to CELL environments.
In particular, the paper will focus on the notion of explanation as
consisting not so much of a single positivistic uni-directional text
purporting to reveal the truth about the object of enquiry but, rather,
as consisting of a set of different texts or rich experiences which, together,
enable learners to construct their own internal representations i.e. explanations
(at an individual level) of the object of enquiry.
Illustrations/demonstrations based on a variety of CELL systems will
be offered for discussion.