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Predict-Observe-Explain eShell




"Predict-Observe-Explain eShell"

  Team: Matthew Kearney with Rob Wright

Designer's Summary


The purpose of this web-based tool is to enable designers to create a learning environment and learning activities based on a 'predict-observe-explain' (POE) strategy.

The tool takes the form of a template which helps you create 'POE' tasks easily. Two formats are provided for your use:

  • one allows open-ended predictions to be recorded;
  • the other provides for choice among limited options.

Student responses are captured to the local hard disk. These may be subsequently reused for a range of purposes.

Rationale for Inclusion


The underlying POE strategy is broadly applicable and can be easily adapted for use in a wide range of disciplines.

Redeveloping the tool in a web-based environment facilitates its reuse by academics and also offers a simple mechanism for designers to challenge learners, in groups, to commit to a view or solution. (Previous implementations were CD-ROM based and focussed on Physics.)

Please Cite As:


Kearney, M. with Wright, R. (2002). Predict-Observe-Explain eShell. Retrieved , from Learning Designs Web site:





Guidelines on how to use this tool (PDF) are available for download.

Two items worthy of note about this tool in relation to its origin exemplar:

  1. The tool provides an additional 'commitment level' page. This is a significant part of the peer learning side of the program.
  2. The tool version of POE encourages the inclusion of sound or graphic-based demonstrations (and video clips). Various model examples of such prompts are provided below.



The POE eShell facilitates construction of two basic formats of POE task:

  • Open-Ended (Drawn) response tasks, and
  • Multiple choice response tasks.

Here are a number of working example tasks:

Note 1: To advance on screens requiring typed responses, it is necessary to type at least 5 words in the space provided.

Note 2: Sample tasks 6a and 6b are linked.




Two compressed versions of the POE eShell are available for download. Each contains both styles of presentation, facilitating Multiple Choice and Open-Ended (Drawn) responses:

Request: A web-based multimedia library of (completed) multimedia-based POE tasks has also been constructed. If you (or your students!) use these templates to create a multimedia-based POE task, please contribute to this online library by emailing your completed task to: matthew.kearney@uts.edu.au.




The POE eShell provides a series of web pages for you to edit according to your own purpose. The template functions on both Macintosh and PC. Dreamweaver is suggested for further editing.

Licence agreement:

The download and use of this software tool is conditional to educational use only and cannot be used for commercial gain or further developed for commercial gain.

Liability Disclaimer:

Limitation of Liability. The Software and any related documentation are provided "AS IS" and without warranty of any kind and The Development Team commissioned by the AUTC funded project: Information and Communication Technologies and Their Role in Flexible Learning (hereafter referred to as "The Development Team" ) expressly disclaims all other warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. Under no circumstances shall The Development Team be liable for any incidental, special or consequential damages that result from the use or inability to use the software or related documentation, even if The Development Team has been advised of the possibility of such damages.



Development of the Predict-Observe-Explain eShell tool was based on the model provided in the Predict-Observe-Explain learning design exemplar.

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