Learning from interactions with software: a Popperian analysis

Aczel, James (2006). Learning from interactions with software: a Popperian analysis. International Journal of Learning Technology, 2(2/3) pp. 159–184.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1504/IJLT.2006.010631


This paper introduces a method of analysing learning situations, based on the work of Karl Popper, and applies it to some examples of software-based teaching innovations. The basis of Popperian analysis is identification of processes of discontinuous trial-and-improvement of 'strategic theories' (students' conjectured constructions of some sort of reality) under the selection pressures provided by 'concerns' (problems of special interest to the student). It requires us to examine the mechanisms by which teachers' target problems become students' concerns; the mechanisms by which students improve upon their existing strategic theories in the direction of target theories; and the encouragement given to the raising of new problems. The examples considered include a CD-ROM on natural selection, a CD-ROM on the work of Homer, a tool for supporting the learning of formal reasoning, a negotiation simulation, and SimCity.

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