Volume 22 / Number 2 Winter 2005–2006 Journal of Computing in Teacher Education 67
Copyright © 2005 ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education), 800.336.5191 (U.S. & Canada) or 541.302.3777 (Int’l), email@example.com, www.iste.org
Rather than learning and then applying theory to the solution of problems,
learners can be provided with stories about others’ experiences while designing
classroom instruction. However, the usability of case-libraries has not been
documented with teachers. In this study, students accessed a case-library of
technology integration stories (http:///kite.missouri.edu) while developing
a technology integration plan. We compared student use and perceptions
with their use of the ERIC clearinghouse, with which they were all familiar.
Naturally, teachers varied in their perceptions and uses of the case library.
Teachers most liked the authentic nature of the stories as information
sources. e most consistent problem was the novelty of the environment.
Some teachers also wanted to access the materials described in the stories.
Successful integration of case libraries into learning activities will require
an orientation to the eﬀective use of cases and the environment itself.
Stories, Case-Based Reasoning, and Learning
Stories are the oldest and most natural form of sense-making among
humans. Stories are the “means [by] which human beings give
meaning to their experience of temporality and personal actions”
(Polkinghorne, 1988, p. 11). Humans appear to have an innate ability
and predisposition to organize and represent their experiences in the form
of stories. To experience the importance of stories to teaching, one needs
only to visit any teacher’s lounge in any school for even a short time.
According to Bruner (1990), telling stories has many functions:
• It is a method of negotiating and renegotiating meanings among
• It helps us to learn, to conserve memory, or to alter the past
• It assists us in understanding human actions and intentions
• It enables us to remember the unusual (e.g., a major event that we
• It enables us to articulate our identity so that we can explain to oth-
ers who we are.
In spite of their centrality for recounting human aﬀairs, stories have
only recently been examined in psychology. To many, stories represent
scientiﬁcally unacceptable forms of logic where logical explication implies
formal and empirical proofs, while narrative convinces through verisimili-
tude (Bruner, 1986). Education has been traditionally dominated by the
desire to appear scientiﬁc in its discourse within and outside the discipline,
so it has opted for logical explication. However, despite the dominance
of logical forms of exposition in academic disciplines, it is the narrative
form of explanation that just plain folks (Lave, 1988, p. 191) use in their
everyday negotiations of meaning.
e inquiry into the use of stories for learning is known as case-based reason-
ing (CBR). CBR is based on a theory of memory that claims that people’s
knowledge and experiences are stored in memory as stories (Schank, 1990).
When encountering a new problem, people examine the situation and at-
tempt to retrieve a previously experienced situation that resembles the current
one. Along with information about the situation, people retrieve the lessons
that the situation provides. New problems are solved by ﬁnding a similar past
case and applying the lessons learned from that case to the new one.
e process of understanding and solving new problems in terms
of previous experiences includes three parts: recalling old experiences,
interpreting the new situation in terms of the old experience based on
the lessons that we learned from the old experience, and adapting the
old solution to meet the needs of the new situation (Kolodner, 1992).
Recalling old experiences depends on how well those stories are indexed;
that is, how well the characteristics or attributes of the old experience
were ﬁled. More clearly indexed stories are more accessible and therefore
more usable. Interpreting a problem is a process of mapping (comparing
and contrasting) the old experience onto the new one. e CBR process
is described by Aamodt and Plaza (1994) as a cycle of activity in which
a newly encountered problem (the new case) prompts the reasoner to
retrieve cases from memory, to reuse the old case (i.e., interpret the new
in terms of the old), which suggests a solution. If the suggested solution
does not work, then the old and/or new cases are revised. When the ef-
fectiveness is conﬁrmed, then the learned case is retained for later use.
Although numerous accounts describe the assumptions and methods
for developing case libraries to support formal and informal learning
(Kolodner, 1992, 1993; Kolodner & Guzdial, 2000; Schank, 1990), there
is virtually no empirical research supporting the use of case-based reason-
ing. Virtually all of the research on case-based reasoning has been design
research. e use of case-based learning environments for teaching, on the
other hand, has been investigated extensively. For example, CaseNet (Bro-
nack & ornton, 1999) provides numerous case studies as instructional
tools. Cases have been used extensively in teaching, but not the use of case
libraries designed using case-based reasoning. e use of stories, similar
to CBR case libraries, has been shown to improve problem-solving skills
and address misconceptions (Brown, 1992; Kearney & de Young, 1995).
However, these studies examined the eﬀects of stories on solving well-
structured problems, not meaningful, everyday, ill-structured problems.
Empirical research on the use of case-based reasoning in the form of case
libraries (as used in this study) are more rare. In the only study of case
libraries to support learning complex problems, students who had access
to case libraries of experts’ stories to help them solve product development
problems in agricultural economics performed better on tests of problem
solving (predictions, inferences, and explanations) than students who
had access to expository descriptions of the issues raised in diﬀerent cases
(Hernandez-Serrano & Jonassen, 2003). In this paper we begin to examine
the usefulness of a newly developed online case library for helping teachers
integrate technologies into their classroom instruction.
Teachers’ Perceptions about Usability
Of a Case Library
David Jonassen and Sanda Erdelez
68 Journal of Computing in Teacher Education Volume 22 / Number 2 Winter 2005–2006
Copyright © 2005 ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education), 800.336.5191 (U.S. & Canada) or 541.302.3777 (Int’l), firstname.lastname@example.org, www.iste.org
KITE: A Case Library of Technology Integration Stories
We have constructed and implemented an online case library of technology
integration stories provided by teachers, Knowledge Innovation for Technol-
ogy in Education (KITE), which was funded by a PT3 (Preparing Tomorrow’s
Teachers to Use Technology) grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
e KITE project is a consortium of eight teacher education programs (KITE
partners) collaborating to diﬀuse technology integration experiences for use by
preservice and inservice teachers by co-constructing an online case library of
technology integration stories. e stories are collected by KITE scouts, who
are members of the KITE project partner teams, through structured interviews
with individual inservice teachers. e audio tapes of interviews (stories) are
ﬁrst transcribed and then submitted to the KITE indexing team who analyzes
these stories and identiﬁes instructive cases, i.e., those cases that denote the
kind of problem situations where a teacher seeks to integrate technology. A
sample of story transcript is provided in Appendix I (page 73). In order to
ensure that cases can be retrieved at appropriate times, each case in the case
library is indexed by assigning it labels at the time it is entered into the case
library (Kolodner, 1993). While searching the online case library, KITE users
may select any values in any combination of indexes listed in Appendix II
(page 74). For example, a teacher interested in ﬁnding all the stories where
middle school teachers from urban school used simulations would select
“middle school” from Kind of School, “urban” from School Location, and
“laboratory experience” from Purpose. e KITE search engine uses a near-
est neighbor algorithm to retrieve the stories that are the exact match to the
stated search terms and also the stories with content that is most similar to the
search statement. e search engine returns a list of stories with percentages
of matching associated with them. Figures 1–4 provide a selection a screens
the users interface with while searching KITE.
Following the indexing, the story is uploaded to the case library
database. Each story consists of the entire interview and a list of relevant
indexes for the case. For each index there is an excerpt from the interview
where the interviewed teacher addressed the content that was coded with
a speciﬁc index term.
Learning Support: Case Libraries
e primary purpose for building the KITE case library is to support
instruction of preservice and inservice teachers. One reason why teachers
are reluctant to integrate technology in their classrooms—especially the
novice teachers employed in this study—is their lack of experience. e
most important characteristics that all novices lack are experiences around
which they can build their personal theories. e case library can sup-
plant those experiences that novice teachers lack. Rather than having to
experience an activity themselves, teachers can search the case library for
situations similar to theirs. e case library provides numerous teachers’
stories about how they used technology in their classrooms. Inexperienced
teachers developing lesson designs can search and read those stories to
Figure 4: KITE case summary
Figure 1. Keyword search interface for KITE Figure 2: Advanced (super) search interface for KITE
Figure 3. KITE search results
Volume 22 / Number 2 Winter 2005–2006 Journal of Computing in Teacher Education 69
Copyright © 2005 ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education), 800.336.5191 (U.S. & Canada) or 541.302.3777 (Int’l), email@example.com, www.iste.org
ﬁnd ideas on how to use technology in their teaching. rough the Web
portal, teachers can access the KITE case library to search for new ways
to use technology whenever they are designing new lessons. ey can re-
trieve from cases advice on how to succeed, pitfalls that may cause failure,
information about what worked or did not work for other teachers, and
insights into why it did not (Kolodner, 1993). e teachers who access
cases from the library can use the ideas presented in the stories or can
adapt the ideas based on their own classroom characteristics.
Although the above statements suggest that teachers would accept and
use stories from peers in their design activities, there is no research support-
ing these assumptions. We designed a study to capture teachers’ perceptions
about the use of KITE case library in the context of performing lesson
design activities. e ﬁrst major issue addressed by the study was:
• How do inservice teachers perceive usefulness of a case library of
technology integration stories for designing their own teaching
An additional aspect of the study was to evaluate the scope and use-
fulness of KITE in comparison to other online information sources the
teachers may be inclined to use when designing their technology integra-
tion activities. erefore, the second major issue for the study was:
• How does a case library of technology integration stories compare
to a traditional educational bibliographic database as a resource for
inservice teachers’ lesson plan activities?
In order to address the above issues in a research context we decided to
conduct an exploratory study. e study was designed to expose teach-
ers to KITE and one bibliographic database and to capture teachers
experiences with using these resources through a survey instrument and
system use logs (for KITE). is research approach allowed us to collect
the teachers’ feedback after the use of a case library in a context that
simulates its real-life uses.
e study participants were 14 students at a Midwestern U.S. university,
enrolled in the online graduate level course titled Using Technology to
Enhance Learning, taught by one of the authors of this paper. e con-
venience sampling as a method for selection of study participants was
deemed to be most suitable to the descriptive and exploratory purposes
of the study. All the participants were inservice teachers; twelve in K–12
environments and two in other types of educational institutions. ey
have been employed in a teaching profession for at least three years, with
close to one third being in their sixth year of teaching. Because of the level
of participants’ teaching experience it is reasonable to assume that they
have been exposed to some level of technology integration, however, their
speciﬁc background in this area was not measured. None of the partici-
pants had a prior experience with KITE and were not provided training
in how to use it. However, they had access to the “How to search KITE”
function readily available on the KITE homepage. e participants had
an average of 3.5 years of experience in using bibliographic databases and
4.2 years of experience in using Web search engines.
e overall study design engaged the participants in the task of develop-
ing a plan for technology integration into an instructional unit of their
choice. e context of the study was a ﬁnal course assignment in which
we instructed students to use the KITE case library and the Educa-
tional Resources Information Center (ERIC), a well-known database of
educational resources, as the information resources for the assignment.
ERIC was included in the study to generate comparative data regarding
participants’ perceptions about use of case library and a traditional docu-
ment-based information resource for their study task.
For the purpose of the assignment, the technology integration plan was
deﬁned as a series of lesson plans that incorporate technology in integrated
and meaningful ways to accomplish the learning goals of the speciﬁc
instructional unit. In their plans the students were expected to use the
concepts and principles about learning technologies they have studied
in the course. eir ﬁrst task was to create a summary of the educational
context for their technology integration plan, including:
• A description of the overall learning goals for the unit
• A description about how the unit addresses state/district standards
• A list of tools needed
• A pedagogical basis for the plan, and
• An explanation of how is the unit connected to other units experi-
enced at appropriate grade level.
e main task of the assignment was to provide a series of lesson plans with
a statement of the grade level for the lesson, learner objectives, and detailed
descriptions of student/teacher activities involving technology integration. e
students had an additional requirement to provide two examples of technology
materials that could be used in the course. is requirement was intended
to mimic the real-life situations of technology integration and to promote
students’ need for information about practical experiences of instructional
technology use that are available in the KITE case library. Finally, in addition
to detailed instructions for the assignment, the students were also provided the
rubrics for assessment and evaluation of the technology integration plans.
Following the submission of the technology integration plan assign-
ment, students completed an online survey about the use of information
resources for the assignment. e survey questionnaire consisted of 15
questions (nine close-ended and six open-ended). e close ended ques-
tions collected data about:
• e participants’ demographics (the type of profession and the
length of their employment)
• e type of resources used by the participants to complete the as-
signment (multiple answer format)
• e participants’ self-perceived level of expertise in searching
bibliographic databases, Web-search engines, KITE case library, and
ERIC (Likert scale, 1–5)
• e total length of time participants spent using KITE and ERIC
for the assignment (multiple choice), and
• e participants’ assessment about the usefulness of KITE and
ERIC for completion of the assignment (multiple choice).
In the open-ended questions, the participants were asked what about
KITE and ERIC they liked the most and what they liked the least. ey
were also asked to provide the examples of how they used KITE and ERIC
in completion of their technology integration assignment.
We provided the students with individual login passwords for KITE ac-
cess and informed them that their use of KITE will be monitored. erefore,
an additional source of data was log ﬁles of study participants’ KITE use.
e log ﬁles captured the basic information about KITE use, such as the
length of time the students spent using the case library, the index terms they
used in their searches, and the individual cases they accessed during their
search sessions. A data collection on the system level was possible because
the KITE case library has been developed in house and we had direct access
and control over its system environment. However, access to the ERIC da-
tabase was provided by the Cambridge Scientiﬁc Abstracts (CSA) Illumina
information service available through the university library Web portal and
we were not able to directly capture students’ use of this resource.
We tabulated and analyzed the close-ended questions using simple
descriptive statistics and content analyzed answers to the open-ended
questions. e content analysis was performed through several coding
iterations, open coding and axial coding (Strauss & Corbin, 1990), thus
allowing for the coding categories to emerge from the responses.
70 Journal of Computing in Teacher Education Volume 22 / Number 2 Winter 2005–2006
According to the online survey results, while working on their technol-
ogy integration plans 11 study participants used KITE case library, 13
used ERIC, 12 Internet, and nine students reported using various other
resources. e log ﬁles revealed that the average amount of time per user
spent in KITE was 23.3 minutes each (ranging from one minute to 180
minutes). In response to a survey question about the length of time devoted
to KITE use, six students claimed to have used it for 30 minutes to an hour,
while ﬁve claimed that they used it for one to two hours. Interestingly,
according to the log ﬁles only one student recorded more than one hour
of KITE use. Despite very speciﬁc assignment instructions, three students
admitted that they did not use KITE at all. e total length of ERIC use
ranged from less than 30 minutes (one participant) to more than two hours
(two participants). e majority of students (six) used ERIC from one to
two hours, while only one reported not using it at all.
Perceptions about Usefulness of KITE Case Library
In response to a question that asked what they liked most about KITE,
the most prominent comment among eight students who used KITE for
their technology integration plan was the ability to learn from both posi-
tive and negative real-life experiences of other teachers. is is illustrated
in the following responses:
…I like the way it [KITE] gave real lesson plans and
ideas, not just theoretical ones.
...feedback from other educators was important to
determine how successful tech integration could be
or would be.
e lessons/cases had actually been implemented in
a real classroom. ere were comments about the
pros and cons.
Two respondents praised KITE’s organization and its ease of use, as
explained by a student who developed a successful strategy for using the
case library and found that the case summaries were the most eﬀective
component of the cases:
e summaries at the beginning are extremely
useful for weeding out cases that will be beneﬁcial
to your purpose. e transcriptions are accurate
and the cases are organized well so that the search
engine works well. e cases read easily and infor-
mation can be easily extracted from them.
e potential usefulness of KITE and case libraries with teachers’
instructional experiences as a new type of instructional resources was
especially present in the following responses:
e thing I liked best about KITE was that it was new
to me. I had no idea that it existed. e case studies
were very interesting to read. I found myself wanting to
read for enjoyment, so I’ll return later. e information
will be useful to my project because it is evidence that
technology can be used eﬀectively at all grade levels.
I used the two case studies from KITE to prove to
my reluctant teachers that technology can indeed
be used in kindergarten and cross curricular in sixth
grade. Both grades have teachers who hate technology
integration. I like having proof to present to them.
Additional evidence of potential value of KITE is provided in the
comments that students made about how they used the KITE case library.
Some students, for example, directly applied ideas from the library:
I used quotes from teachers and general objectives. I
also was inspired to include activities in my unit that
were detailed in one case.
I found a lesson plan that was in a format I could use
as a model for my integration plan.
e desire to directly apply information to the prescribed task was also
supported by the types of indexes that students used to search the KITE
case library. Although KITE includes 20 diﬀerent searchable indexes, log
ﬁles recorded that study participants used only three. With one exception,
the only indexes used were grad level, subject, and keyword (used when
looking for a speciﬁc topic).
However, a few students used the cases more reﬂectively, as explained
in the following example:
I did not use any ideas directly. Instead, I would read
an article, and then reﬂect on how I could modify it
or it would cause me to think about technology in my
classroom. Also, I had been working on the project for
some time and had a pretty substantial idea of what
I wanted to accomplish. By the time I learned about
this resource, I was pretty set in my plan.
Despite many positive comments about the usefulness of KITE, not
every student who used it found that experience useful for completion
of the technology integration assignment. For example, one student
In all honesty, I used it to get ideas, etc. but really I
developed my project based on my own experiences,
the resources available at my school, and what I
thought would work best for my students.
Some of the reasons for the lack of use of the case library may be
found in students’ responses to a question about what they liked least
about KITE. e most common concerns were the novelty of this kind
of resource and corresponding lack of familiarity with how to use it:
I found it harder to ﬁnd what I needed.
KITE was new to me. It was just diﬀerent. I have
always gone with the resources I always use because
I am comfortable.
Maybe it was because it was the ﬁrst time I used it,
but I found it time consuming trying to maneuver
through the site.
Interestingly, another student commented that cases do not have the
“jargon” required by the assignment. She found the case material was
inconsistent with her perception of what the professor was looking for
in a response.
Finally, the additional perceived weak aspects of KITE were lack of
comprehensiveness, depth, and content of cases:
…it didn’t have as many examples—also my ﬁeld was
a little diﬀerent so there weren’t as many examples.
I wanted more information from the case studies. One
that struck me in particular talked about a PowerPoint
presentation. I wanted access to that presentation so
I could relate more to the case study.
…no speciﬁc data to back up what was said.
No illustrations. e interviewer says things like, “Is
this a sample of the Web page your class created? It is
very nice.” I would like to see it, too, to get a better
idea of what they are talking about.
Perceptions about Usefulness of ERIC
All but one of 14 study participants used ERIC database for completion
of the assignment. Students’ ratings of the usefulness of ERIC were similar
to KITE: ﬁve of the students rated ERIC as not very useful or slightly
useful; four rated it as fairly useful, and four rated it extremely useful.
Volume 22 / Number 2 Winter 2005–2006 Journal of Computing in Teacher Education 71
Unlike KITE, students were familiar with ERIC, so a common prefer-
ence that was stated about ERIC was its ease of use:
It’s easier to search for articles and various re-
e ease of ﬁnding things.
I like ERIC because it’s a good way to ﬁnd valuable
resources quickly and easily. I like it that you can
weed out articles that aren’t full text. It’s a great time
saver and a very eﬃcient.
Another equally common reason for liking ERIC was its content and
the comprehensiveness of its coverage:
…I think it provides wonderful resources and ex-
amples of lesson plan.
Happened to get directed to ERIC database in some
of my searches—really good stuﬀ there.
Interestingly, its vast size also may have contributed to what students
liked the least about ERIC. e most speciﬁc criticism was about slow
and confusing navigation (ﬁve students), such as:
ERIC is too busy. ere is so much on the screen to
sift through to get to what you need. It needs to be
Seven students provided speciﬁc examples of how they used informa-
tion from ERIC in their assignment. Four examples referred to use of
articles about student evaluation such as rubrics and peer editing, while
three identiﬁed use of factual information about technology products,
such as digital cameras.
e study participants were intrigued with the novelty of KITE and liked
that it provided information with real-life experiences of practicing teach-
ers instead of academic papers. e students sought to directly apply the
information from KITE to the task prescribed in the assignment, which
is the way many other sources of information are traditionally used. is
practical focus (as in “What can I ﬁnd that I can use immediately?”) is well
documented among teachers and may create a mental barrier to some
other useful applications of case libraries. One such potential application
is the use of case libraries as a source of ideas and inspiration for instruc-
tional activities that teachers could model in their own teaching. rough
dissemination of ideas and adaptation of pre-tested models, a case library
of stories with teachers’ instructional experiences, such as KITE, could
grow into what Lave and Wenger (1991) call communities of practice.
Such evolution could be facilitated by addition of interactive modules
that allow and encourage users to share comments about how they use
case libraries and exchange experiences about how to do it better.
e data about the extent of students’ use of KITE in this study are both
conﬂicting and intriguing and deserve speciﬁc attention. First, only 11 out of
14 study participants used KITE, even though this was a speciﬁc requirement
of the assignment. Second, the comparison of self-reported survey data and
actual usage logs indicated that students exaggerated their use of KITE. is
is not surprising, given that the context of the study was students’ work on
a graded assignment. However, overestimation in KITE use may also be an
indication of students’ discomfort with using case libraries, which in turn
may have increased the perceived length of time spent in its use.
e lack of participants’ prior experience with case libraries meant that
they did not possess conceptual schemas for using this information source.
Without a mental model of case libraries, and KITE in particular, several
participants expressed frustrations about its navigation and searching. For
example, as it was explained earlier, the system is not designed to provide an
exact match to the user’s query but rather the next nearest match. erefore,
a search for stories related to K–1 grade level may return cases related to
grade 2–3 and a search for stories about teachers’ use of digital camera
may also return cases that report on the use of video cameras. In the above
examples, the CBR system will automatically recognize that grades 2–3 are
close to grades K–1, and that a use of digital camera is conceptually close
to a use of a video camera. When users without a mental model of CBR
systems review the list of cases generated in response to their query, they
may be confused about why some of them do not exactly address their
speciﬁc request. Furthermore, as suggested by Dimitroﬀ and Wolfram
(1995) users’ prior experience with traditional information retrieval systems
(speciﬁcally with Boolean-based systems) may create a mental barrier in
their adoption of new mental models of online searching and, therefore,
create frustrations in attempts to use the new system.
Once the study participants were exposed to KITE they became more
familiar with its story-type content. e novelty of the content also in-
spired new expectations for what else should be available in KITE, such
as examples of actual products (presentations, photos, documents, Web
pages, etc.) created by the teachers whose stories have been captured in the
case library. e reluctance to use KITE may indicate teachers’ resistance
to try new information resources and their preference to stay with the
ones they have successfully used before, e.g., ERIC or resources that are
freely available on the Web. is is supported by our survey data about
the extent of use of KITE and ERIC for completion of the assignment,
where the study participants reported using ERIC more than KITE.
Overall, the participants also found ERIC more useful for the assignment
than KITE. Unfortunately, as explained above, we did not have access to
ERIC log ﬁles and therefore cannot corroborate students’ self-reported
use of ERIC with their actual use recorded by the system.
Some additional points of the KITE and ERIC comparison (such as
the aspects of these search environments that users liked the most and the
least) suggest that students found both strong and weak points in terms
of their usability and their content. Although the perceived weakness of
KITE may be attributed to students’ lack of experience with electronic
case libraries, students’ negative view of speciﬁc features of ERIC may stem
from their ability to reﬂect upon these based on their prior use.
e objective of the study was to provide an initial insight into usability
aspects of a speciﬁc case library. Although our ﬁndings cannot be general-
ized to boarder categories of users nor to other case libraries, they oﬀer
guidance for implementation of case libraries in teacher education and
they also identify areas where additional research is needed.
For the participants in our study, case libraries represented a com-
pletely new information searching environment. Our ﬁndings indicate
that students (all already employed as teachers) were attracted to the
novelty of KITE and to the access it provides to the experiences of other
teachers. However, for many of students in the study the lack of prior
experience with case libraries made the use of KITE uncomfortable and
even frustrating. Under the imposed constraints of the assignment, which
was a backdrop for our exploratory study, the students exaggerated their
use of KITE and reported relying more on other available resources such
as ERIC and the Web.
To foster the use of KITE in the context of teacher education, we need
to better educate their future users (students and teachers) about the char-
acteristics of case libraries and about the eﬀective ways of searching them.
We need to be aware of the potential negative inﬂuence of prior experiences
with other information retrieval environments on the successful use of case
libraries. To alleviate this problem, attention needs to be devoted to train-
ing that facilitates development of users’ mental models of case libraries,
especially in terms of similarities and diﬀerences with other information
72 Journal of Computing in Teacher Education Volume 22 / Number 2 Winter 2005–2006
search environments such as bibliographic online databases and the Web.
An example of an attempt to provide training to the users of case libraries
is the Technology Integration Learning Environment (TILE) module that
was added to KITE after completion of the study reported in this paper.
Additional research is needed to evaluate the eﬀect of training on the users’
experience with KITE. Furthermore, research is currently in progress to
better understand the characteristics of users’ mental models when searching
traditional information retrieval systems and CBR systems. With training and
additional research, we hope to help teachers refocus their attention from the
search environment itself to discovering novel and creative ways to integrate
the experiences of other teachers into their own teaching practice.
Aamodt, A., & Plaza, E. (1994). Case-based reasoning: Founda-
tional issues, methodological variations, and system approaches.
Artiﬁcial Intelligence Communications, 7(1), 39–59.
Bronack, S. C., & ornton, P. C. (1999). Web-based learn-
ing environments: Issues and perspectives for international teacher
training and instruction. International Electronic Journal for Leader-
ship in Learning, 3(17). Available: http://www.ucalgary.ca/~iejll/vol-
Brown, D. E. (1992). Using examples and analogies to reme-
diate misconceptions in physics: Factors inﬂuencing conceptual
change, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 29(1), 17–34.
Bruner, J. (1990). Acts of meaning. Cambridge: Harvard Univer-
Dimitroﬀ, A., & Wolfram, D. (1995). Aﬀective responses and
retrieval performance: Analysis of contributing factors. Library and
Information Science Research, 18, 121–132.
Hernandez-Serrano, J., & Jonassen, D. H. (2003). e eﬀects
of case libraries on problem solving. Journal of Computer-Assisted
Learning, 19, 103–114.
Jonassen, D. H. (1997). Instructional design models for well-
structured and ill-structured problem-solving learning outcomes.
Educational Technology, Research and Development, 45(1), 656–694.
Kearney, A. R., & De Young, R. (1995). A knowledge-based
intervention for promoting carpooling, Environment and Behavior,
Kolodner, J. (1992). An introduction to case-based reasoning.
Artiﬁcial Intelligence Review, 6(1), 3–34.
Kolodner, J. (1993). Case-based reasoning. New York: Morgan
Kolodner, J. L., & Guzial, M. (2000). eory and practice of
case-based learning aids. In D. H. Jonassen & S. M. Land (Eds.),
eoretical foundations of learning environments. Mahwah, NJ: Law-
rence Erlbaum Associates.
Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate
peripheral participation. Cambridge, England: Cambridge Univer-
Polkinghorne, D. (1988). Narrative knowing and the human
sciences. Albany: State University of New York Press.
Schank, R. C. (1990). Tell me a story: Narrative and intelligence.
Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.
Strauss, A. & Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of qualitative research:
Grounded theory procedures and techniques. ousand Oaks, CA:
David Jonassen is Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Missouri,
where he teaches in the areas of Learning Technologies and Educational Psychology.
Since earning his doctorate in educational media and experimental educational
psychology from Temple University, Dr. Jonassen has taught at the Pennsylvania State
University, University of Colorado, the University of Twente in the Netherlands,
the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Syracuse University. He has
published 26 books and numerous articles, papers, and reports on text design, task
analysis, instructional design, computer-based learning, hypermedia, constructivist
learning, cognitive tools, and technology in learning. He has consulted with businesses,
universities, public schools, and other institutions around the world. His current
research focuses on constructing design models and environments for problem solving.
He is Director of the Center for the Study of Problem Solving.
Learning Technologies and Educational Psychology
University of Missouri
221C Townsend Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
Dr. Sanda Erdelez is an associate professor at the School of Information Science and
Learning Technologies at the University of Missouri, Columbia, where she leads the
Information Experience Laboratory. Her scholarly interest is the study of human
information behavior, in particular people’s information needs and uses in the context
of electronic environments and specialized areas such as e-learning, e-health, e-gover-
nance, and e-commerce. Dr. Erdelez’ research has been funded by SBC Communica-
tions, Dell Computing, and the Texas Supreme Court. Most recently she co-edited
a book, eories of Information Behavior, published in 2005 by Information Today.
Volume 22 / Number 2 Winter 2005–2006 Journal of Computing in Teacher Education 73
Appendix I: Sample story from the KITE
Note: e text in italics indicates the questions asked by the KITE
scout. e teacher’s response follows each question.
Would you begin by telling us what grade level of students you are working
with on this project and what is the content or subject area?
e grade level is second grade level. e content area is a cross between
social studies and science with a rainforest project.
Where did you use this technology, in the classroom or in a lab setting?
We used it in the classroom since we don’t have a lab setting in our
Can you tell me the name of the project and the purpose of the project?
e purpose of the project was a rainforest research project that the
students were supposed to complete by themselves. ey were supposed
to do most of it in class, but I did want the parents to help their children
ﬁnd some information.
Why did you decide to do this particular project?
I believe in teaching with more than one way of letting students
respond to the teacher. I think that some students can do better if it is
not a written report. is is a report that appeals to visual learners. Some
students like to create songs or raps. I want the students to feel free to
express and describe their information in multiple ways. I also tell the
parents that I do this in second grade because I am preparing the students
for future research projects.
Can you describe the project from start to ﬁnish? Tell me things you did to
plan and the steps the students went through as they completed the project.
We had been studying about the rainforest, and the students had been
reading diﬀerent things by themselves and in class. We had been doing
quite a bit. is was the culminating activity that I wanted them to do.
It was a formative evaluation, but it was also a summative evaluation for
me to see how much they had learned from the study of the rainforest.
So I ﬁrst planned it. en I told parents in newsletter what we would be
doing. I gave the students and parents what would be required. I gave
them a very basic rubric of what I wanted to see. I went over it with the
students and I gave them a list of ideas that they could do. It wasn’t just
write a report. You could make a poster using word processing. en tell
about the things in the poster. It could be a song that you have recorded
using the digital video camera. It could be a poem that was recorded using
the digital video camera. It could be a PowerPoint presentation. Whatever
they wanted to do. I introduced it that way toward the end of our study.
ey were working on it during class time and when they had free time.
ey started looking up information. Some used a little Internet, but it
wasn’t as much Internet as I would probably use now. ey used a lot
of resources. I tried to furnish them with the resources. ey all knew
that they were going to present it in class. ey knew that they would be
rated not only as a presenter, but also as a listener. When a student was
done presenting, the other students had to share two things that they had
learned or they had found out.
When they were ﬁnished, did they share this project with anyone?
We shared it with our class, and we invited two other second grades
to come in and watch. We invited the parents. Unfortunately, the times
were during school times, so we didn’t have many parents. I have shown
a few of the ﬁnished projects during staﬀ meetings with our staﬀ.
You mentioned the rubric. What were some of the things that you were
looking for in that rubric?
I was looking to see if the information was correct or if they had fudged
on it a little bit. It wasn’t quantity, it was quality of the information and
presentation. For example, some of the PowerPoint presentations were
only six to eight slides long. Many of those students didn’t have a lot of
information. ey had maybe two sentences on each slide. It wasn’t an
awful lot. For both the posters and the PowerPoint, they had to select their
information and the pictures they wanted to include in the project.
Was there speciﬁc information about the rainforest that you were expect-
ing them to get?
No. Basically, it was very open. Some students were really more into
it. Others were more on the surface. Some took a speciﬁc animal and
really researched that animal. Others it was just general rainforest. e
layers. e plants. What some of the plants are used for. Where you ﬁnd
the rainforest in the world.
What did you expect the students to learn from this? As they were going
through, what did you expect them to learn from listening to others?
I expected them to not only learn some of the social studies and sci-
ence standards about habitats and the environment, but also we have a
listening standard. ey can listen to others. A speaking standard. ey
have to be able to present information. All of the students had to tell
about their project. ey had to do it in a way that was easy for the audi-
ence to listen to. Also for them to speak in a voice that was understood.
Some students are very quiet. You couldn’t hear them. Some would play
with the mouse or the poster. It took away from their presentation. I told
them, ‘You can’t do that. You have to be professional.’ en, the others
who were listening, they were listening for facts.
Were there any problems along the way, with the Internet, Microsoft Word,
PowerPoint, or the digital video camera?
Sometimes we couldn’t always ﬁnd the pictures we wanted on the
Internet. I wasn’t sure about all of the sites that you can go to. at
was a problem. Another problem is only having two computers in the
classroom. en it takes second graders so long to type. For them to type
small amounts. It was hard for them to wait on others. A paraprofessional
came in and she helped them. ey were on the school computers. She
burned the projects onto CDs so that the students could take them home.
I think they can play it on their regular computer at home.
You mentioned that you have only two machines. How many students
did you have?
I had twenty ﬁve students.
ey worked individually?
is time they did.
Do you have any special populations of students, English Language Learn-
ers or special education students, that you made accommodations for?
We had a special education student. He was allowed to have help from
the resource teacher. e speech teacher also helped him. I didn’t water
the expectation down. He still needed to do it. He needed to learn these
skills too. It was non-threatening. ey do get rated. However, it is not
that every project has to have glitz or show. Every project that is done, you
can always ﬁnd good in it. He did very well. ESOL students had tested out
of that program. ere were a few times they struggled with terminology.
But we worked through that. Really there wasn’t a problem.
How long did the project last? How much time did you devote each day
or a week?
Between thirty to forty minutes a day. ere were some days we didn’t.
Other days ended up being longer. Per week we probably spent two to
three hours a week. It lasted a little bit over a month. Five or six weeks.
What would you say your role was during this project?
I was trying to be a facilitator. Trying to ﬁnd the right Internet sites.
Get on them. Guide them. Help them ﬁnd information. Not get it for
them, but oversee what was going on.
Appendix I continued on p. 74
74 Journal of Computing in Teacher Education Volume 22 / Number 2 Winter 2005–2006
eir role during the project?
ey were supposed to be active participants. is is one thing they
really stayed on task for. ey really worked. ey liked this a little better.
When they were getting their presentations ready, the participant and
the interest level rose.
How do you think the project beneﬁted them?
Some of them really enjoyed it. Some of them have made other pre-
sentations. Some of them have asked if they can do similar projects. One
little boy gave his presentation. He started by saying, ‘I’m so nervous. I
can’t do this.’ He got up there and he was one of the best presenters.
What would you say you have learned from doing this?
I would probably try and make it the schedule so that we could use
the Internet at diﬀerent times. If they want to stay in at recess, to give
them more time. It just really takes a lot of time.
Appendix II: Indexes for KITE Case Library
Assessment of learning: quiz; test/exam; assessed product using rubric;
assessed presentation using rubric; written assignment or paper; subjective
assessment (e.g. observation); none
Connectivity: Classroom only (e.g., CD-ROM, computer software);
linked to school and district-wide resources (e.g., district LAN); link to
Grade Level: 1–12
Help/assistance used: fellow teacher; technology specialist from school or
district; Web site; manuals only; administrator; looked in journals/books;
participated in training
Kind of school: primary (K–3); intermediate (4–5); middle school
(6–7); junior high (7–8) or (7–9); high school (9–12) or (10–12); magnet
Level of learning outcome sought: remembering information for test;
comprehension of information for writing or presentation; solving text-
book problems; designing a product, method, or process; modeling a sys-
tem or object; decision making activity; completing laboratory activity
Location of technology resources: primarily in labs; primarily in library/
media center; most located in classrooms in adequate numbers (more
than 1–2); located in labs and distributed to classrooms; only teacher
Nature of activity: experimentation; presentation by students; presenta-
tion by teacher; data collection; virtual ﬁeld trip; data analysis; drill and
practice; writing; using tools to represent knowledge; creative, situated
in captivating and challenging activities; games
Observations: students performing required activity; students refuse to
perform; students excited; collaboration increased; writing performance
increased; mathematical skills increased; communication skills developed;
presentation skills increased; collaboration decreased; writing performance
decreased; mathematical skills decreased; presentation skills decreased
Purpose: information searching; making a presentation; constructing
multimedia programs; organizing information; assessing information;
writing papers; viewing pre-recorded presentation; laboratory experience;
creating homepages; role playing; corresponding with experts/mentors;
collaborating with learning communities; collaborating with outside com-
munities; assessing student learning; drill and practice; tutorial instruction;
creating a student centered environment; increased information exchange;
stimulate collaborative work environment
Overall thoughts about how it went? ings you would keep the same
Just give more time for the students to work. I also might try to do
it so that we could share the projects during the evening. ey really
enjoyed it. e few parents who came. ey really thought it was neat. I
would like to try it with something else that is easier. Some of the animals
were hard to ﬁnd pictures of and information about. I might go to the
public library and see what they have too. Any advice? I would just be
patient. It was a little frustrating at times. I would have other things that
students could be working on. ey were really good. Most were really
busy all of the time. ere were a couple of times where some wanted to
get on the computer and they had to wait. at might be a scheduling
problem. Next year, if we do get the computer lab, I think we won’t have
as many problems.
Reason for using technology: recommendation from colleague; read
about it in journal; heard about it at a conference; administrator priority;
thought it up; to meet standards
Role of student: explorer, discover concepts and connections; student,
learning through structured activities; apprentice, observing, applying,
and reﬁning through practice; teacher, sharing and representing what
they have learned; producer, creating products to represent their learning;
experimenter, trying out new processes
Role of teacher: facilitator, supporting collaborative problem solving;
director, giving structured learning activities and explicit directions;
expert, providing information; monitor, circulating among students;
coach, providing hints, clues, and other feedback; partner, learning along
School location: urban, major city; suburban, major city; urban, other;
suburban, other; rural; charter; other.
Socio-economic status of students: poor (most families on support);
mixed poverty and lower middle class; mixed lower middle and middle
class; mixed (all classes); aﬄuent; mixed middle class and aﬄuent
Standards: activity not associated with standards; activity generally
relates to one standard; activity generally relates to more than one standard;
activity directly address one or more standards
Subject: Math; Science; Social Studies; English/Language Arts; Foreign
Language; Health; Physical Education; Home Economics; Business;
Consumer and Family Studies; Industrial Technology; Music; Visual/
Performing Arts; Special Education
Teacher’s technology experience/skill level: never used before; used oc-
casionally for personal tasks; used frequently for personal tasks; used
occasionally in classroom; used frequently in classroom; used consistently
at home and in classroom; used in professional settings
Teaching experience (# years):0–35
Technologies used: graphic calculator; digital camera; video camera;
image scanner; graphics program; word processing; database manage-
ment; spreadsheets; multimedia construction tools (Director, Premiere);
hypermedia construction (StorySpace, Linkway); internet searching;
e-mail; chat rooms/MUDs; conferencing/BBS; videoconferencing; au-
dio-conferencing; data collection; presentation software (PowerPoint);
adaptive/assistive devices; systems modeling; concept mapping; expert
systems/AI; programming (Visual BASIC, C++; Web page program-
ming (HTML, CGI, Perl); microworlds; visualization tools; educational
software (Jostins); simulations; web development tools; webpages/linklist;
computer assisted design (CAD); Internet searching; data exchange; video
editor/Movie maker; sound editor; other
Appendix I continued from p. 73