Visual Authoring System Benefits Instruction as Well as Instructor at Ohio State

By Dryer, Kymberly G. | T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education), September 1988 | Go to article overview

Visual Authoring System Benefits Instruction as Well as Instructor at Ohio State


Dryer, Kymberly G., T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)


Visual Authoring System Benefits Instruction As Well as Instructor at Ohio State

J. Brooks Breeden was, in his words, "capital-B bored." A professor in the department of landscape architecture at The Ohio State University, he teaches courses that involve lots of mathematical problem-solving. And for a while there, in the mid-'70s, he spent virtually all his free time on campus holed up in his office constructing those math problems--horizontal and vertical curve calculations, percent of slope calculations, etc. Fresh problems for tests, student practice, classwork and homework assignments were necessary, of course, but to Breeden they were all "old-hat."

Students of landscape architecture, which concerns the design of all outdoor space, study civil engineering, horticulture, ecology and the natural sciences. Math plays an important role in the discipline. Miscalculate the low point in a driveway curve, and the catch basin for run-off could wind up a yard away from a puddle of rainwater. Miscalculate where to construct an apartment building, and zoning laws could require that it be torn down. Breeden's classes help ensure that future land planners know how to correctly determine such things.

Interim Solutions

In 1976, Breeden consulted Ohio State's office of computer-assisted instruction (now the office of computer-based instruction) to see if courseware existed that could automatically generate random math problems suited to his purposes. It didn't, but a systems analyst in the office, Carl Philabaum, helped Breeden develop his own CAI program--written from the ground up. "I was not aware at the time of any high-level authoring languages," says Breeden. "I thought you just had to do this."

Over the next few years, he and various colleagues painstakingly wrote a series of problem-generating CAI programs, but a disquieting fact slowly emerged. The mainframe terminals that this courseware ran on couldn't handle graphics, so students had to visualize some highly complex scenarios. A formal university study in 1981 confirmed what Breeden suspected: Students didn't transfer learning from the alphanumeric computer displays to real-world graphical applications.

For a brief time, Breeden was able to remedy this by using Magnavox Orion plasma-panel terminals with 35mm rear-slide projection and touch-sensitive screens. But when the machines were discontinued and the language support was withdrawn, CAI reverted to the original mainframe terminals. In 1984, 20 IBM PCs were installed in a School of Architecture lab, and Breeden rewrote 24 problem-generating programs to run on them. Adequate graphics could be displayed on this equipment, but they were complicated and time-consuming to produce.

A Chance Encounter

When HyperCard came on the scene in Fall 1987, Breeden went back to Ohio State's office of computer-assisted instruction to investigate the possibility of using it for CAI. A member of the office staff, however, had something else to show him: a demo of the icon-based Course of Action authoring system from Authorware, Inc. of Bloomington, Minn. "It blew me away," recalls Breeden. "I said, 'My God, look at the animation. …

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

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
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access 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, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Visual Authoring System Benefits Instruction as Well as Instructor at Ohio State
Settings

Settings

Typeface
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?

Help
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

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access 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, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.