Written by: Mobit
Student of Post Graduate UHAMKA Jakarta, Indonesia
To analyze the four CDs given by the lecturer of Information Communication and Technology, it is important to quote the principle of designing and testing the CALL Program. The following are the principles of designing the CALL program proposed by Hartoyo (2008).
- Interactivity (feedback and instruction)
It refers to how the program can stimulate interaction, especially interaction between the computer and the user. It includes the effectiveness of the instructions and feedback provided in the program
- Usability (flexibility)
It refers to the flexibility, ease and inherent interest of the program used, and how easy it is to navigate within the program
- Content appropriateness
It is concerned with the amount of material presented in the program, how easily the material is learned and understood, and how far the material meets the students’ need.
It refers to how effectively the program assist language learners to improve their mastery of grammar.
It refers to the presentation, lay out of screen, the color, and the illustrations (picture, diagram, chart, etc) used in the program
CD 1 (VOCABULARY)
The first CD analyzed is a bout vocabulary. The cover of the CD is very interesting due to presented by the sub object available in the CD. There are many menus provided there, such as named Nature, Science, The body, Religion, Education, Occupations, Verbs, Adjectives, Technology, Aquatic, Music and Poetry, and Miscellaneous. The cover is completed by many pictures regarding to the menus available.
There are some descriptions that aimed to reiterate the attached CD inside. They are; “Educational Software for Ages 7 to 11 years”, ”SATS KEY STAGES 2”, “PC CD-ROM”, “100% UK Product Supports National Curriculum Music, Speech & Animation”,” High scores for every level to maintain motivation”,” Increasing difficulty makes an addictive challenge.”
While the CD have inserted to the CD-ROM, user have to install into the system in order to be ready while the CD will be inserting to the CD-ROM automatically works. The performance of the program which has opened is very interesting. There is brown coin animation as a mean of clicking to continue the CD. Besides the coin animation, provided the direction “Clicking on me will give you some help” By the direction user are provided many helps to solve the problem are being faced.
The user can also insert their own name to identify the player, and of course to send the score got.
Then, there are four picture of menu that can be choose what kinds of menus will be played. They are Ballonz which is symbolized by a tree balloon with various color. It seems interesting and motivating student to click on. The second is Haunted House that completed a torch picture. Torch probably represents the way of playing, icon-ted by the torch. The third is bats and symbolized by bat picture, and the last is Stuntman with the background a box picture with red content.
There are also some directions or setting icons. They facilitated player to set into the appropriate setting namely Player, Result and Sound.
While each game menu is clicked, shows the direction of operating the mouse while playing. The color in this page is good although less contrast for the children. But the quality of the color is less sharp.
After clicking the “SELECT LEVEL” shown one of 12 levels based on the theme listed above. If it is clicked, the user provided a question which is completed by 4 choices symbolized by various color balloons that should be chosen by clicking one of four balloons. The Picture used to click is look likes the head of snake.
If the first clicking is right the problem will automatically move to the next problem. But if the first click is false, it is facilitated by the right key answer by the changing of the color of the answer. Unfortunately, the head of snake can not go out of choices box if the process of clicking has not finished yet.
In sum, the performance of CD 1 is good, but the color is less sharp or contrasts for the children. The operational is not to difficult operated, especially for the non-native language learner in the targeted ages. But the content is rather difficult for non-native student. Unfortunately, if unconsciously the player has exit from the game, and forget to close the CD, the computer will get stuck. Consequently the player should re-start the computer.
CD2 (ENGLISH WORDS)
The cover of the second CD is generally as same as the first CD. The list of the theme is different due to the different name of the objective of the CD. The CD consists of different theme from the previous one. They are People, The Home, The Street, Animals, Shopping, The Body, Clothing, Transport, Various, Pastimes, The Park, and The Country.
After clicking of the English Word, there will be opened the front-page which consist of two words, GAMES and CATALOG.
The GAMES consists of an interesting circle that comprises 4 colors. Each color and completed with the certain pop-up objective that represents the different things. The first, the pop-up brown quarter of circle represents “Key Stages 1-Ages 3-7”, the pop-up green quarter of circle represents “Key Stages 1&2-Ages 3-11”, the pop-up blue quarter of circle represents “Key Stages 2-Ages 7-11”, the pop-up yellow quarter of circle represents “About Sat Soft” and the black small circle in the center of the bigger circle with the “CLOSE” word. The four of previous categories explains about the classification of related theme regarding to the ages.
There are four pictures symbolized the different content. They are, ROADHOG, RESCUE, NIGHT SEARCH, and FROZEN FOOD. Each picture or word consists of the 12 theme listed above. The mechanism of playing the games actually is not different from the previous CD. The performance detailed as same as the Vocabulary one. The theme available as listed above about 12 object which is presented in the same ways but different picture. For example, theme one is about People. The way of playing the game is not different from the previous CD one. But the ROADHOG icon of answering is rather slow that make difficult to catch the car which is the symbol of the choice. In contrast, the icon of RESCUE runs fast that implies to difficult to play especially the ages targeted, moreover for the non-native language learners.
Then for the NIGHTSEARCH is more interesting be played especially for the Indonesia students because it is easy and challenging to play. And the FROZEN one is as interesting as the NIGHTSEARCH. The color is colorful and beautiful picture of fish. But when the player will cancel to continue the games and they will move the cursor out it is banned to go out until all the requirement has answered.
Unfortunately, if unconsciously the player has exit from the game, and forget to close the CD, the computer will get stuck. Consequently the player should re-start the computer.
CD3( LEARN ENGLISH)
The CD is Talk Now for Beginner
The third CD is un-operated. While it is inserted into the CD-ROM, there will be shown nothing. Actually there are many folders inside, but if it is tried to open, it will be no responds.
CD4 (SPEAK ENGLISH)
The fourth CD is about the intermediate-step up from the beginner. While the first step of operating the CD has passed will be shown the interesting front-page that consist of some expression. The first one is the direction to fill the palyer’s name, “Learn British English”, “Choose your name from this list, or type below”. After filling the name the games will operate regarding to the directions. Besides, there are some phrases on the front-page, such as “Player’s name”,” Change Help Language”,” Available help Language”, but while it is tried to do so, the language should be downloaded either from CD or the Web.
The CD consists of 10 subjects; The Alphabet, Greeting, At the Restaurant, Shopping, Getting Around, At the Hotel, On the Phone, Emergencies, Leisure, and Business. At the bottom of the list provided the score as the summary of game which is played in each theme. It is also facilitated by some hot-phrases that represents other direction such as; “Student Record”,” Change Help language”, “Go Online” and “Quit”.
The contents of the CD are very interesting and presented with interesting photograph and little video that repeats some expression uttered. Although it is found some unmatched written and spoken phrase, it is repeated by one of the two speakers available in the CD.
Each theme/ subject or sub menu is facilitated of five supporting directions, Phrase Practice, Phrase Recording, Dialog Practice, Dialog Recording and Printing. They are very useful for the players because player can not only listen to the phrase but also record their own voices of repeating the phrases.
In sum, the fourth CD is the better than the three CD before. That is why the writer scores the the last CD is the best one regarding to the five principle of designing and testing the CALL program.
Unluckily, while playing the CD, the player should focus on one page, because there are no facilities like the first and the second CD.
After playing and observing more detailed of the CD I make a summary of the four CD related to the Principle of Designing and Testing the CALL program. The following is the chart consisting of the analyses.
UsabilityContent AppropriatenessEffectivenessPerformance1- Vocabulary++++++++++++++++++2-English Words+++++++++++++++++++3-Learn English Talk Now-Beginner+++++4-Speak English-Talkmore Intermediate+++++++++++++++++++++++++
To analyze the CDs I used the code (+) to rank from bad up to excellent as the following ranges.
+ : bad
++ : fair
+++ : good
++++ : very good
+++++ : excellent