Topic 6

Online Tutorials

Online tutorials use ICT for learning and contain content to instruct students. Simulations allow students to see what happens in different situations and animations help students understand how things work. Self tests let students know how much they have learnt. 


  • Flexibility as to where and when students learn and they can work at their own pace
  • Materials make use of multimedia and can be accessed with lots of devices
  • Keeps students using them interested and motivated by the variety of activities
  • It does not matter if you get things wrong- the computer won't judge you


  • The software is often complex and uses lots of animation and graphics, which are expensive
  • Students often need the interaction of their classmates and teachers to learn better
  • Can present an opportunity for students to have a break rather than work
  • Teachers cannot explain in different ways
  • It is hard for teachers to gage progress in some of the packages
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Online Assessments

Online assessments are exams and tests performed on the computer and the computer marks your work and gives you your results.


  • The results are obtained immediately 
  • You can analyse what you did well and what you did badly, so you can target your revision
  • Frees up teacher time, as there are no assessments to mark


  • Danger of hackers accessing the system and changing the marks
  • Relience on equipment that may go wrong
  • Only suitable for certain types of assessments (can't do essays etc)
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Virtual Learning Environments (VLE's)

Main features:

  • Student assessments
  • Allow teachers to add their own content
  • Allow teachers and students to communicate with each other
  • Students can submit work electronically
  • Teachers can mark and return work electronically
  • Teachers can set homework tailored for each students
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Advantages and disadvantages of VLE's


  • Students can access the VLE using any devices that will connect to the Internet
  • Learning can take place at any time- the student is not restricted to learning in lessons
  • Students can access it at any time- this makes them more responsible for their progress
  • Individualized learning- students can do work tailored for their ability


  • The software is expensive
  • There is a danger of hackers altering reports, tests marks, etc
  • Staff needs a lot of training to use them
  • Entering content can be time consuming
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Learning devices and software for the disabled

There is a huge range of specialist input devices that can be used by people with disabilities and help them learn.  Some devices are:

  • Microphones can be used to issue instructions and enter text into a computer system. They can be used wirelessly and can be used in a range of ways by those with a disability.
  • Touch screen devices allow people to make selections by touching a screen and are used in a range of ways (supermarkets, train stations, learning devices etc). It is very simple to use. 
  • Concept keyboards
  • Eye typer
  • Foot mouse
  • Puff switch
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Software- voice recognition

Voice recognition software allows you to enter data by talking into a microphone. It can be used to enter data into a word processing software, emails, database and issue commands to the operating software.


  • Faster than typing- most people can talk faster than they can type
  • Accurate- provided time has been spent with the software teaching it how to recognise voice
  • Cheap- it is cheaper to dictate yourself than to pay someone to type


  • It takes a while to get used to- and can be frustrating to use at first
  • It is not accurate at first- the software needs to get used to your voice/ accent by you speaking and then correcting the mistakes the software
  • There is confusion with similar sounding words, e.g. two and to
  • Background noise causes errors- you can not use it in a noisy situation as the software will attempt to convert the noise as wel as your speech into text or instructions
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Software- text to voice

Text to voice software allows a computer to read text that has been typed in or it can be used to give some sort of response such as the direction instructions in a satellite navigation system. This system can be used by the visually impaired to check what they have typed in using a Braille keyboard, for instance. 

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Software- customized desktops

There are many ways in which the desktop environment of a computer can change to suit the needs of the user. These are the ways it can be changed to help disabled users.

  • You can use an on-screen keyboard and use a mouse or joystick to point and select letters from it
  • You can use an on-screen magnifier that will blow up certain areas of the screen
  • You can use what is called the narrator to read out text that appears on the screen
  • You can choose to use voice recognition to type in text or issue commands
  • You can alter the combination of colours used (for colourblind users)
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