In order to help a group of introductory-level music students achieve a foundational understanding of music theory, a series of computer-based instructional modules were developed using a system called Technology-Assisted Language Learning (TALL). This system, though primarily intended to be used in developing natural language-based instruction, was designed to be flexible enough to handle a broad range of academic subjects. The design of the instruction was largely accomplished via formative evaluation, where student and expert reviews of prototypes played a significant role. Students reviewed three separate prototypes of the instruction, and experts in instructional design and evaluation were also asked to provide feedback. The instructional approach of the learning modules consisted of drill and practice exercises, which included remedial feedback. Activities were sequenced such that review was required until a specified level of mastery had been achieved. The implementation of the software was less than perfect as numerous software bugs were present throughout. This caused frustration on the part of students and resulted in inaccuracies in the data collected by the system. A formal evaluation of the software and implementation was conducted in order to answer specific questions generated by those identified as stakeholders in the experience.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Instructional Psychology and Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type

Selected Project




drill and practice, music theory, evaluation, computer-based instruction