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Date of Award

12-2014

Document Type

Restricted Project: Campus only access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education

Department

Science, Mathematics and Technology Education

First Reader/Committee Chair

Dr. Brian Newberry

Abstract

This project explores research-based methods for creating an e-learning resource to teach an intellectual skill. Intellectual skills are one of the five domains of learning defined by Robert M. Gagné. The intellectual skill taught via the e-learning resource is the rules of Turkish vowel harmony, a fundamental phonological feature of the Turkish language. The purpose of the e-learning resource is to provide novice learners with a set of tools and strategies with which to approach the future study of Turkish.

A literature review was conducted in three areas: Gagné’s instructional design theories, Turkish language learning, and best practices for the design of multimedia e-learning. Two rapid prototypes in the form of Moodle course sites were developed. Guidance for improving the prototypes was sought from experts in instructional design, usability, and computer software. The resulting finished e-learning product is a nine-topic Moodle course based on Gagné’s nine events of instruction.

The main Moodle course content teaches the rules of Turkish vowel harmony as an intellectual skill which has been broken down into discriminations (the Turkish vowels), concepts (the Turkish vowel groups) and rules (Turkish vowel harmony). Higher order rules are taught in the form of exceptions to the rules of Turkish vowel harmony found in foreign loan-words in Turkish. Practice is provided in applying the rules of Turkish vowel harmony as a set of word attack skills for approaching Turkish language artifacts found online and in the environment. A comprehensive list of resources relating to learning Turkish, learning about the Turkish language, and learning about learning Turkish, is provided to facilitate future extension and application of what was learned in this course.

Each lesson is presented in the form of a Moodle book. Each lesson is followed by an ungraded assessment in the form of an Adobe® PDF quiz. The quizzes and accompanying answer keys are designed to provide guided practice, feedback, and self-assessment to help students extend and apply the lesson material. All lessons were beta-tested to ensure usability and reduction of extraneous cognitive load.

The project resulted in the development of a Best Practices Checklist for designing e-learning resources to teach intellectual skills. The Best Practices Checklist, which can be found in Appendix B, was used to develop the outline for e-learning resources to teach intellectual skills in other subject areas and was found to be an effective rapid prototyping and instructional design tool. Insight was gained into the significance of prior knowledge for teaching intellectual skills, and on how to calibrate cognitive load in e-learning design relative to the learner’s prior knowledge of the subject matter being taught.

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