Apr 01, 2009 by Information Technology Editorial Board
This site can be used to demonstrate how number conversion is done. The user is required to have Java active on the computer they are using in order for the program to run. An interactive site, well worth using to teach those unfamiliar with number base conversion, exactly how number base conversion is done.
The purpose of this program is to teach users how number base conversion works while actually performing the number base conversion and then providing the information in a text box below.
The site allows users to enter a number in one of four bases (binary, octal, decimal, and hexadecimal) and convert the number to one of the other bases.
Target Student Population:
Primary recommendation would be for undergraduate students just learning about number base conversion. Appropriate for middle school higher education in the disciplines of math, computer science, engineering, information technology.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Understanding of the computer number system, basic computers skills, knowledge of binary, deciamal, octal, and hexadecimal terminology.
Type of Material:
Reference Material and practice.
This site could be used for homework, as an individual tutorial, for team learning, in conjunction with an assignment, or in conjunction with a lab assignment.
Evaluation and Observation
The site is explicity concise. It covers only one topic and deals effectively with that topic.
Although instructions are hard to find, if an individual starts to use and makes an error, alerts pop up explaining what the error is which is extremely helpful.
The text boxes below provide excelent explanations of the conversions and how the individual can also do those conversions.
The tool is current and relevant The tool is flexible (can be used in many different situations) Integrates the concept of computer number system well. The instructions are clear and concise.
Instructions were not immediately found, but after a minute of looking around, saw the button for the instructions.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Covers only one concept, but does so in a very clear and concise manner.
No prerequisite knowledge is required except basic computer skills, therefore none is provided on this site.
The tool is very efficient (it is possible to perform a lot of number conversions in a short period of time) Can be used as a tool in class or outside of class Can be used in many different academic disciplines that use the computer number system.
Students would need to be thoroughly introduced to the computer number system before being able to use the tool.
No learning objectives are provided; however, it is not felt they are needed since only one concept -- number conversion--is covered. No information is provided on prerequisite knowledge, but none really is needed.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Easy to use
Clear instructions are provided
The tool is interactive
Wonderful site. Easy to use. Easy to move around. When a mistake is made an alert prompts you with more information to let the individual know how to correct the error.
The author should include an "alt" attribute for the "Instructions" graphic. Also, the form controls should include labels using the XHTML