The software used for EDICS development included the Claris HyperCard authoring system and MacUser HyperCard Toolbox; MacDraw II, MacPaint II, and Studio 1 for drawings; Electronic Arts' Studio 1 with Animation Driver XCMD for animation and painting; MacroMind Director and Player as animation tools; the Farallon ScreenRecorder recording utility; Individual Software's 101 Scripts and Buttons; Apple ResEdit as an editing utility; and Altsys Fontastic Plus for font animation.
The tree structure is used in EDICS because students typically expect information to be organized hierarchically (Figure 4).
We put strong emphasis on equipping the user of EDICS with maps, parachutes for quick exit, and other aids to give the user the ability to hop from branch to branch while providing as much of a preview as possible about what to expect.
Once EDICS is on screen, six "guidance" buttons are standardized in position and configuration along the bottom of the frame (Figure 1).
We found that it was essential that EDICS users be given some rudimentary introduction to isometric and orthogonal drawing because we had to use drawings to explain design concepts.
We have tried in EDICS to make extensive use of graphical representations and drawing techniques, including free-hand sketching, blended with similar-sized real images and animations.
In endeavoring to test the value of EDICS, we have set an impossible task.
There is no doubt that most students like EDICS greatly, wanting to return to use it after class in many cases, and averring that they have learned a great deal about the topic.
Future versions of EDICS and future trials should incorporate the following changes, which will be tested to measure their effectiveness.
Although we had intended to arrange that EDICS be used by individual students, it seems likely that groups of three or possibly four learn faster on account of their interaction and comments.