n South African Journal of Higher Education - Evaluation of an interactive learning environment : theory and practice




This article is a follow-up to "Instructional theories of experts: a practical implementation" in SAJHE Volume 12(2) of 1998 by the same author. The previous article discussed current instructional and learning theories and tenets of instructional design, upon which a prototype computerised interactive learning and practice environment has been developed for first-level university students in theoretical computer science. The environment gives learners the opportunity to select their own instructional transactions in terms of content, sequence, and the type of performance, in modes ranging from perusal to independent practice. Formative evaluation is defined and a practical application, namely, learner-evaluation of students' interaction with this practice environment is described, based on questionnaires, interviews, and a post-test. Conventional evaluation is conducted of learner-attitudes and product effectiveness, but particular attention is paid to the five "C" characteristics introduced in the previous article: cognitive learning, constructivism, component-based instruction, customization and creativity. The Five C model has subsequently been extended to incorporate a sixth C, collaborative learning, and has thus become the Hexa-C Metamodel. The practical evaluation of the practice environment is particularly focused on investigating the level of attainment of the characteristics embodied in the Hexa-C Meta-model.


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