The Use of Authoring to Produce Effective Learning Materials

Tony Rest, Don Brattan


Authoring systems are commercial systems which allow the construction of an interactive computer based package in a simple way and with minimum or no programming requirements from the author.

There are many authoring systems on the market, all differing in the facilities they offer and the way in which the total learning package is constructed. ToolBook Instructor1 is one of these.

The work described in this paper explains how ToolBook Instructor has been used to produce learning packages in physical chemistry, with the emphasis on using experimental physical chemistry as the means of studying selected topics. In most cases, physical chemistry laboratory work involves collecting data under a variety of experimental conditions and analysing that data to make meaningful links to theory. In most undergraduate courses the time available for collection of the data is short and the amount of data collected can be insufficient to make interesting analysis and links to theory. There have been many attempts to overcome this problem and computer based learning packages is one of these. Students can use these packages to quickly generate significant amounts of raw data to supplement their own laboratory results.

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