Thursday, January 14, 2010


Drill and Practice Software.

Drill and Practice is a computer -instruction technique in which a series of structured problems or exercises with immediate feedback to student responses.Students answer a question and get immediate feedback.Feedback can be simple as correct or incorrect.

Drill Practice provide children with practice on concept that they have already learned.Good Drill and Practice provides feedback and explain how to get the correct answer.Some contain student management systems that keep track of student progress.

Criteria for Selection Good (Drill and Practice Software).

When selecting a good instructional software well designed drill-and-practice programs should also meet specific criteria.

Control over the presentation rate:
Lets say that the question are not being timed ,students should then be allotted as much time to answer and and examine the feedback before proceeding to later questions.A student usually signals readiness to go to the next question by simply pressing a key.

Answer Judging:
If the program allows student to write in short answer rather than selecting one ,a good drill program will be able to discriminate between correct and incorrect answers.

Appropriate feedback For Correct and Incorrect Answers:
If students feedback are timed,or if their sessions time is limited,they may find it more motivating simply to move quickly to the next question.When drills do give feedback,they must avoid two common errors.First Feedback must be simple and and display quickly.First feedback must be tire of elaborate displays,and the feedback ceases to motivate them.Second,so programs inadvertently motivate students to get wrong answers by giving more exciting or interesting feedback for the wrong answer than for correct answers.
The most famous example of this design error occurred in an early version of a popular microcomputer-based math drill series.Each correct answer got a smiling face,but two or more wrong answer produces a full-screen ,animated crying face that students found very amusing.Consequently,many students tried to answer incorrectly to see it.The company corrected this flaw,but this classic error still exists today in other programs.

Categories of Drill and Practice Software:

                     There are three  categories into how drill and practice is used in the class room.

1.As Learning Station: lets look at three different types of learning station.

Learning Station 1 - (13 students to 2 computers).Teams of four to five students are rotated to through three different learning station,to gather information for their projects.Each team may use different technique to do their project by using cameras,printed materials of even spreadsheets.Each station has roles for their members in order to complete the task.
Navigators Models: (4 students to one computer).Using a road trip analogy,teams of four to five are given role cards.The driver controls the mouse and keyboard,while the navigator help the driver operate the keyboard.Backseat driver one control the group progress whereas backseat driver 2 control time keeping.The navigator is the student who is trained by the teacher for a period of 10-20 minutes,All this student has to do is give the instruction as to what to do but are not allow to touch the computer or keyboard ,the other students in the group are each given a chance to use the computer.
The Collaborated Group Model: This comprise of 7 students to 1 computer.In the collaborated group model,each small group is responsible for creating some component of the whole group final product.for example one part of the group can write a report ,while another can create a map and the rest can use the computer to gather censor data and display it in the map.

2Free Time Choice Activities: Here is where the student is allowed to do whatever in their free time.

3. Group ware: This is where an entire class or a small group uses a software package together.

Characteristics of Drill and Practice Software :

1.Presents items for students to answer.

2.Gives feedback on correctness

3.Sometimes gives explantion of why answers are incorrect.

Types of Drill and Practice Software.

 Flash  Card Activity :
This is the most basic drilling practice function.Here is where the student will see a set of questions ,which he/she may attempt,the feedback may be negative or positive depending if the answer is accurate or not.

Branching Drill :
This is the more sophisticated form of drill and practice.In Branching Drill,students may attempt questions and are either carried forward to the next step (advance level/or may be ask to choose their next activity)if most of their answer is accurate in the predetermined mastery level or they are carried backward to do do basic work.People do not know that branching is occurng since trhe program may do it automatically not alerting them of this fact.

Extensive Feedback Activities :
Students gets  more inforamtion than just correct/incorrect feedback.Some of these pograms gives detailed feedback on why their answer may be incorrect with instruction on how to do the work.

Advantages of Drill and Pratice Software :
Immediate Feedback :
The differences between pen and paper and drilland practice software is that whaen students uses pen and paper he/she may do their work,sometimes wrong and the issue that arise is that they will believe what is wrong is correct and may retain the information until itt is corrected by the teacher.However the drill and practice allows the student to know immediately if the problemss are accurate or not.
Motivation :
Some students may get fed-up doing practice exercises in paper,or just plain do not like writing alot.Because of this using a computer may be a motivation to them to practice what they need.
Saving teachers Time:
Teachers are better able to manage their time,in the sense that some students can work in the drill and practice on particular subjects such as English,Maths Facts,SAT Skills,and Musical keys and functions,while the teacher can work or address other student needs in the classroom.
Group Work:
The computer can be used with a large number of students,making it time efficient way of conveying knowledge.
Learn at your space :
Assist the students to master their work at their own space.

Limitations/Disadvantages of Drill and Practice Software:
Perceived Misused :
Sometimes teachers may misuse the drill and practice.This occurs when the teacher uses it for introduction of new topics to the students instead of actually teaching them and allowing them to use the software to practice and reinforcing familiar work.
Cristicism by construtivists:
The drill and practice is seen as asc an outmoded approach to teaching.
For some students the drill and practice is seen as boring,uninteresting and unappealing.
No connection to real world senerios :
It has no appliocation in the students real world,rarely will the student make the connection with why these things are important.
Competition :
This may encorage competition,which many which many western Educator may frown upon.
How Teachers can use Drill and Practice in Teaching :

It can de used to replace worksheets and homework exercises.
This becomes effiecient to students who have problems in certain areas in their studies example Mathematics and Reading.The teacher has to go over the work as revision for the students to store it in their long term memory.However with the use of drill and Praction because of the immediate feedback,and self pacing it motivate the students and they are better able to practice required skills on the computer than on paper.
Used to prepare for test :
Drill and Practice Software can help a students in their weak subject area to prepare for their test.

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