CS 6398:
Design and Analysis
of Educational Software

Instructor: Amy Bruckman
Office: CoC 255
Tel: 894-9222
Email: asb@cc.gatech.edu (Email is best way to reach me.)
Office hours: Wednesdays 4:00-5:30, Thursdays 3-4:30, and by appointment.

Teaching assistant: Shahin Shadfar
Email: shahin@cc.gatech.edu
Help session time: TBA

Time: TR 1:30-3:00
Location: CoC 201

Text: Articles online, on electronic reserve, and on regular library reserve.

Focus of the Course

The course has two parts, each with a set of questions that we will be addressing:


Objectives of this course are for students to be able to:
  1. Design software about which you are willing to make explicit claims about the intended student audience, the needs of that audience, how the software meets those needs (including choice of media, structure, and interface), and what should be learned from the software.
  2. Evaluate the software and describe which (of many possible) variables were studied, why these variables were studied, how these variables were studied (what methods), and why those methods were used.

So what are we going to do?

During the course of the quarter, students will (alone or in groups of at most three):
  1. Implement a piece of educational software and
  2. evaluate it (with at least three users, preferably a whole class if available).

There are no restrictions on the KIND of software (e.g., microworlds, construction kits, intelligent tutors) implemented, as long as the developers are willing to claim that the software facilitates learning and to evaluate that claim.

Most classes will be a discussion of one (at most, two) papers. Wherever possible, I have provided links to the authors' home pages. You are encouraged at least to browse through those pages.

Papers will be available either on the web or on electronic reserve. You may wish to print them out before reading them.


Grading will be based on two papers and two presentations:
You will be graded primarily on the thoughtfulness of your design and evaluation process, as documented in your papers and presentations--the emphasis is not on the quality of your software. If you are working in a group, each team member must submit a separate paper.

Computing Resources

If you registered for the class and you already have a CoC account, you have been given access to College of Computing machine clusters (if you didn't have access already). If you register late, you should be added later automatically. If not, mail help@cc asking to be given access.

If you need a CoC account, you can get a request form in front of CoC 213. Complete the form and return it there.

CoC computing asks that:

Course Outline

(Some readings may change.)




Here are a couple project ideas:

A few hints for successful projects:
Question welcome--email asb@cc.gatech.edu