SOFTWARE EVALUATION FORM


 

Software Reviewed By:  Amina Nihlawi  

Title of Software: Advanced Writing Course

http://web2.uvcs.uvic.ca/courses/elc/writinga/index2.htm

Product name

Advanced Writing Course

Platform / Operating system Internet access

ESL/EFL Level(s):     Basic   Low Intermediate   Intermediate  High Intermediate  Advanced
(Click all that apply.)

Age group:     kindergarten   elementary grades  middle grades  high school  college age  adult interest
(Click all that apply.)

Type of Program:
Check all that apply.

Problem Solving  Drill and Practice  Simulation Informational   Game Student Tool  Teacher Tool ESL-Specific Non-ESL Specific  Testing  Text Reconstruction  Text Construction  Exploratory activities
Other:
Process writing

User friendliness:

not at all somewhat average good excellent

English Language Areas Covered:
Check all that apply.

Reading   Speaking  Writing  Vocabulary  Grammar  Listening   Cultural Competence  Computer
Conversational  Other: ___________________________

Describe the program and its functions/components briefly.  What is the content?  What does the program try to accomplish?

 

 This course offers students the opportunity to learn about different types of writing genres through “self-discovery.” It is a unique program, in that it is tailored toward the important aspects of process writing. The course offers five units of study with Quick Links to self-assessment tools. Also, as in any writing exercise, students need to have a good grasp of their grammar skills. Thus, this course does a good job in providing Reference Tools to grammar structures. Furthermore, a writing course cannot be complete without an aid of a tutor, which is why the course gives students the opportunity to post their essays for their tutors to review.

Pedagogical considerations--Program Operation:
How easy is the software to use?  

 

 

 

 


 

 

  • The course includes a wonderful instructional manual called How to Work Through Each Unit. It provides students with easy, simple to understand instructions about all the features of the course, such as the links and the menu buttons, along with step-by-step directions about how to complete each unit.
  • Each Unit begins with an outline of the lessons. The units are comprehensive in detail and provide students with ample guidance through the writing process.
  • Students can easily move from one lesson, or unit, to another. The student can review the Unit outline and decide whether he/she will study a particular unit or skip over it.  

Pedagogical considerations--Feedback:
How does the software program evaluate the learner's response? 

  • Brown (2001) contends that process writing helps students better understand “their own composing process” and it also enables them to “build repertoires of strategies for prewriting, drafting, and rewriting.” Thus, this course provides students with the opportunity of approaching the writing process with authentic tasks.
  • With the tutor as an aid in this writing process, students are allowed the opportunity of interacting, modifying and revising their work with the tutor.
  • Critical thinking skills are important abilities that students should try to foster. With this program, students are allowed to foster that ability, which is done by negotiating, analyzing, synthesizing, and revising their written work with their tutor.

Pedagogical Considerations--Content

 

Well organized  Well sequenced  Enjoyable
Interesting   Factually correct  Helps learning
Provides effective practice  Introduces new language understandably  Provides meaningful interaction between computer & learner  Provides communicative interaction between students     Creates challenge without anxiety
Free of excessive violence  Free of stereotypes
Takes advantage of computer's unique capability 
The program is highly organized with the menu bar bars located at top of the screen and on the left of the screen. It also provides students with a non-intimidating way of learning where students can review a lesson as many times as possible.

Pedagogical considerations--Program Output

 

Attractive screens
Color
Video
Attractive Graphics
Attractive Sounds
Personalization

Print option available

 

 

 

 

Comments
1.  State the program's strengths and weaknesses from a pedagogical point of view.

2.  Mention how/where this software fits/doesn't fit into current learning and teaching theories.

 

 

 

#1

Strengths

Weaknesses

This program provides students with a unique and authentic way of learning about process writing, instead of the old book-based lessons. It is especially helpful for those students that have a different learning intelligence, such as logical-mathematical intelligence and intrapersonal learning style. Also, it offers in-depth lessons about all aspects of the writing process.

 

NA

 

#2

This program can be easily implemented in the classroom. Teachers can use it to complement their weekly lessons or provide students with different types of stimulating exercises. Students can navigate through the lessons and review the areas they are having most difficulty with.