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Investigate eShell




"Investigate eShell:
Supporting students in decision-making, problem-solving and case-based reasoning"

  Team: John Hedberg, Russ Pennell and Catherine McLoughlin with Jan Herrington

Designer's Summary


The purpose of this web-based tool is to enable you to create a learning environment and learning activities to support your students in decision-making, problem-solving and case-based reasoning.

Investigate eShell provides you with an easy to use template which you modify using DreamWeaver. The template facilitates the use of online video which can be viewed with your normal browser.

The potential of this tool is illustrated by two demonstration pieces which are available below. Accompanying documentation explains how they were constructed.

Rationale for Inclusion


The concept of the eShell originated in two learning design exemplars examined by this project. Each of these implemented a realistic learning setting. One provided a more open scope of action, whereas the other was more structured. The tool facilitates the construction of either type.

Please Cite As:


Hedberg, J., McLoughlin, C., & Pennell, R., Herington, J. (2002). Investigate eShell: Supporting students in decision-making, problem-solving and case-based reasoning. Retrieved , from Learning Designs Web site:





Guidelines for developing interactive learning designs with Investigate eShell (PDF, 3.1Mb) are available for download.




Two examples of material generated using the Investigate eShell are available for review below. These indicate the varied scope of uses for the tool. Both examples are adaptations based on learning designs in the project exemplar stock:

  • Virtual Records
    This example in the form of a case or challenge presented as a series of episodes with access to varying resources as appropriate.
  • Investigating Mathematical Assessment Strategies
    This example is of a resource-based scenario that has access to several forms of information which the student must collate in response to a scenario task.



A ZIP version of Investigate eShell Templates is available for download.





The eShell source code is in html format. It should function well on both Macintosh and PC and was originally created using Dreamweaver. The same software is recommended 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.



The Investigate eShell demonstration examples provided above drew respectively on the following learning design exemplars. You may like to visit their designer descriptions to learn more about the originals:

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