The Educational Software/website Effectiveness Survey

By Furner, Joseph M.; Daigle, Debra | International Journal of Instructional Media, Winter 2004 | Go to article overview

The Educational Software/website Effectiveness Survey

Furner, Joseph M., Daigle, Debra, International Journal of Instructional Media

In today's growing technological age of educational software and interactive Internet teaching/learning websites, school districts and teachers need to ensure that the educational software and websites being used as part of their classroom instruction are appropriate and effective in their intended outcomes and goals. Today, these goals/outcomes are reflected in both state and national standards and guidelines. This article will provide the readers with an instrument for helping to evaluate educational software and websites that considers and identifies general instructional management skills that enhance both instructional and behavioral management effectiveness to achieve instructional effectiveness, student success, and student motivation. Buckleitner (1999) contends that the number of software evaluation studies and papers have declined since 1984 despite the need for software review information. He feels that preservice teachers often times have little experience selecting and evaluating software for the classroom that is intended for use with children learning. In contrast, Buckleitner (1999) feels that the evaluation of children's literature, often times an entire course in teacher education programs, yet inservice and preservice teachers get little experience or no experience in selecting appropriate software for their students. In fact, Buckleitner (1999) has found that software evaluation activity has declined significantly in the past several years despite the increase in computer use with children and the development of a large volume of CD-ROMs and software for learning and edutainment.

Internationally, the question has been raised as to how does software from the U.S. compared to software produced in other countries. Results from one study (Lu, Walker, & Huang, 1999) have found that there were a surprisingly small number of cultural differences other than language. It has been recognized that perhaps multimedia guidelines for international audiences would be helpful as the world becomes more global in its interactions and exchange of educational ideas and tools via educational software and education websites used for instruction.

Checklists have been created over time to consider particular aspects of software, aspects like user-friendliness, graphics, and motivation. In an age of a standards-based curriculum educators must concern themselves first with seeing that the software and educational Internet websites that children employ are standards-matched as well as relate and prepare students for the types of assessments they are given at both the state and national levels. Tergan(1998)states that it is critical that an approach instructional design model and a comprehensive framework be utilized to cope with the problems of validity and predictive power of software evaluations. Hence, instruments for verifying such educational software or websites need to be developed that identify the aspects of learning and management that are important in our schools.

According to Wilson (1998) children should have input into the effectiveness of the software they use to learn from. Age can play a critical role in knowing whether to get direct input or assessments based on the students' outcomes from standardized/school related tests. Wilson (1998) contends that children can serve as software reviewers. It is critical to allow children to "child-test" educational software in an informal way. Currently, there are many websites that share childrens' comments on software reviews. Children can often be the best judge of saying whether the software they are using is effective or ineffective. Teachers can use information from students to make decisions on what software is appropriate in the classroom. The teacher observations and assessments while students utilize such software or educational websites are critical in assessing such technologies for learning.

Making decisions about software for classroom use is critical, but often teachers do not have the training or know-how to select appropriate software packages for classroom instruction (Hall & Martin, 1999). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)


1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Cited article

The Educational Software/website Effectiveness Survey


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.