CS - 403

graduate hybrid course

Authoring Techniques in CAI

(Computer-Aided Instruction)

taught by Dr. Netiva Caftori

Learning is a movement not anchored in knowledge... If you see from accumulated knowledge, then the seeing is limited and there is no new thing in the seeing. -- Krishnamurti

The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist." -Maria Montessori, Italian educator (1870-1952)

Course Structure
Instructor's Office hours Course schedule Student's evaluation
Course description Related web sites Students' Home pages
Philosophy Assignments and
Examples of java script

      Students today

It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play without seeing the vital connection between them. -Leo Buscaglia, author (1924-1998)


The study of computer-aided instruction and the task of authoring educational software require much independent study in both research and coding. Much of the work is also done in teams of students, in class discussions and in presenting facts and arguments to an audience. This course is taught in the smart classroom to a mature student audience with prior knowledge of programming, system design, independent research, team work, and sophisticated presentation skills.

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"If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people" , Confucious

Syllabus for

CS-403-Authoring Techniques in CAI


Authoring, Design and Implementation of Educational Software

Dr. Netiva Caftori

Office: LWH 3025

For an appointment or question: Call 773/442-4718 or X-4718 from campus and leave a clear message.

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Course Description:

In this course students study the various concepts associated with computer-aided instruction and learn the usage of several authoring languages such as Director and turtle LogoWriter in the creation of effective educational software.

Through lectures, readings and visits to other related areas such as the library, MIDI (Musical Instruments with Digital Interface), chemistry, and geography labs, students are exposed to different kinds of software for presentation, multimedia, authoring and Artificial Intelligence applications. Languages such as Podium, Visual BASIC, HTML, Java, Prolog, and LogoWriter are studied. Other languages may be introduced as they become available or in demand in the marketplace.

Students practice each one of the languages through assignments. Most of these languages are not ordinarily taught anywhere else in the Computer-Science curriculum. They do strengthen some previously learned concepts such as recursion, graphing, and artificial intelligence.

Pedagogical ideas are taught in order to create courseware that is motivating and meets the learning objectives of the designer. Principles of software design and development will be covered in order to correctly implement what is needed.

Students work in small teams toward a midterm project. They are free to choose the language they are interested in with the approval of the instructor. They move on to work on an individual project which they will demonstrate to the class toward the end of the semester.

Throughout the semester students are encouraged to read established research in the area of CAI and discuss it in class. Finally they write a 4-8 page paper on their findings and thoughts and present it to the class orally with the help of a presentation software or through a web page created earlier.

Course Objectives:

  • To be able to create original software for the purpose of teaching someone a new skill or a new tool or technique.
  • To be familiar with state-of-the-art design and implementation techniques.
  • To be able to work and solve problems effectively in teams and independently.
  • To be able to express oneself and share readings and thoughts through class discussions.
  • To present findings and thoughts in an articulate, clear and intelligible way orally, in writing, and using a presentation tool.
  • Course requirements

  • As a first assignment create a simple web page (using HTML) and a simple presentation (using Podium or PowerPoint.) The student will choose later which of the two to develop further:
  • As the course progresses the web page is expected to grow and incorporate more complicated features so that the final product will represent the assimilated content in a sophisticated way.
  • In a similar manner the presentation will get more complex as material is added and the student gets more knowledgeable.
  • As a second assignment create a more involved graphic design using LogoWriter (or another program).
  • As a midterm team project create a courseware material (using some authoring program such as LogoWriter, Java, or Visual BASIC). Work should be divided as evenly as possible among team members, done in part individually and finally combined together in a team effort.
  • After the midterm, each student will diverge from the team route, or extend it, and work on an individual project to be presented to the class at the end of the semester. The final product is a learning tool of some sort that needs to include graphics, be interactive, animated and motivating to the learner.
  • In addition, throughout the semester, readings will be suggested and discussed in class. Students are encouraged to share their ideas with others, read further about CAI through searches in the library and the internet, and write a final paper based on their learning.
  • The paper will be presented to the entire class using a presentation software, or alternatively displayed in the student's web page that s/he has created for this purpose (oral presentation is still required).
    Children and media use survey.


    Game maker with example by Bhaswathi.

    fun games

    To download Maya or Mel
    Flashpoint Academy, in Chicago
    Content generator

    I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. Chinese proverb
    The Medium is the Message. Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980)
    Affective learning is Effective learning. Bernard John Poole (1943-)


  • New Textbook: Computers in Education, 12th edition, edited by J. Hirschbuhl and J. Kelley, McGraw-Hill
  • Squeak: Object-Oriented Design with Multimedia Applications, by Mark Guzdial, Prentice Hall, 2001.
  • Our old textbook: Bernard Poole: Education for an Information Age. Teaching in the Computerized Classroom, 2nd edition, McGraw Hill, 1997.
  • 7th edition of this same book by Bernard Poole.
  • Computers for Twenty-First Century Educators, 6/E by James Lockard, Northern Illinois University and Peter Abrams, Northern Illinois University
  • A helpful resource for you in choosing which authoring program or approach you want to use is at this site
  • S.B. Yoder: Introduction to Programming in Logo using LogoWriter, second edition, ISTE, 1991
  • D. Groves: The Web Page Workbook, Published by Franklin, Beedle & Associates, 1996 (to help in the creation of a web page).
  • A tutorial of Podium, version 7. (That would be beneficial for class presentations.
  • P.H. Winston & S. Narasimhan: on to JAVA, Addison Wesley, 1996.
  • K.C. Laudon: Interactive Computing, McGraw-Hill, 1996
  • S. Papert: Mindstorms, Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas. Basic Books, 1980
  • M. Watt & D. Watt: Teaching with Logo: Building Blocks for Learning. Addison-Wesley, 1986.
  • Special issue of Byte journal. Volume 7, Number 8, dedicated to Logo.
  • K.A. Beerman: Computer-Based Multimedia: New Directions in Teaching and Learning. Journal of Nutrition Education, 28,1, 15-18, 1996.
  • R.L. Burke: CAI Sourcebook. Prentice-Hall, 1982.
  • D. Lyons: Good Grades for On-Line Education. Computerworld, 29, 45, Nov. 6, 1995.
  • S. Papert: The Children's Machine. Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1993.
  • R.L. Venezky & L. Osin: The Intelligent Design of Computer-Assisted Instruction. NY: Longman, 1991.
  • Many other readings are recommended in class and are to be found also in the "Related Sites" section of the instructor's home page on the net.
  • One in six adults on the planet cannot read or write. Some 600 million women and 300 million men, 99 percent of them in the developing countries, remain illiterate. Some 115 million children between six and eleven - one in five - are not in school. Of those who go to school, one in four drops out before completing five years of basic education - when research shows that adults with less than five to six years of education remain non-numerate and functionally illiterate. - - - Moreover, throughout the developing world, the quality of primary, secondary, and university education is rarely up to the standards required by the new world economy.
    J. F Rischard, High Noon - Twenty Global Problems, Twenty Years to Solve Them, Basic Books, NY, 2002
  • To climb steep hills requires slow pace at first - William Shakespear (1564-1616)

    Grade philosophy:

    • Class participation--10%
    • 1st assignment--Web page creation--5%
    • 2nd assignment--Logowriter design--10%
    • Midterm team project--20%
    • Individual project--30%
    • Paper and presentation--25%

    • A 91-100%
    • B 81-90%
    • C 61-80%
    • D 51-60%
    • F 0-50%

    By much failing the child learns to walk. - Wise saying from the Orient


    Week---Material covered---
    1 Introduction; CAI concepts and historical overview; Sample software to be covered in this course. HTML to build a home page
    2 Podium or PowerPoint presentation by instructor or guest; Work on a presentation prototype
    3 HTML short lesson. Work on a web page. Selection of teams
    4 LogoWriter presentation. Lesson and demonstration of programs written by previous students. Initial work in teams on midterm projects with instructor consultation.
    5 Visual Basic Presentation by instructor or guest. 1st assignment due; Class discussion on readings, and work done so far;
    6 MIDI presentation in the music lab; Work in teams on midterm project
    7 Geography Multimedia presentation; Work in teams. Share concerns in the design and implementation stages of projects.
    8 Midterm project due. Projects shared and critiqued.
    9 Review of concepts learned; Quiz; Discussion of readings and thoughts about where we go from where we are.
    10 2nd assignment due; Discussion of readings and work on individual project design.
    11 Individual projects design and implementation discussed; Quiz
    12 Early Student Presentations based on readings.
    13 Individual project due; More presentations of both readings analysis and projects designed.
    14 More presentations
    15 Papers due. Late Student Presentations


    Group work should be done by all members of a team.

    Attendance is therefore essential. Absence needs to be discussed with the instructor.

    Assignments and projects are to be done on time unless extension is negotiated with the instructor.


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