The Jasper series were specifically made to address the issue the NCTM recommended be changed; questions needed to be more open-ended and span across many subjects. The Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt (1992a) made the Jasper scenarios/videos based around the theory of anchored instruction. Anchored instruction was introducing realistic and problem-based situations for students to solve during mathematics (Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt, 1992b).
I believe the Jasper series changed the way mathematics was taught in the classroom. No longer did mathematics need to be taught using strictly rote memorization or problems from a textbook. The inclusion of technology and problem-based learning made for a dynamic and community based approach to the educational setting. Students, as demonstrated in the Jasper articles, were clearly engaged with the problem and were able to come to their own conclusions after much deliberation with their group members in an “active instead of passive learning environment” (Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt, 1992a, p.475).
Recently, math instruction and support materials such as Khan Academy are similarly trying to engage students using TELE’s. I took a look at the programs listed, some of which I’d never heard of, and most of the programs are geared towards individual participation and growth. I do not believe that they can be considered examples of anchored instruction or, as Shyu (2000) mentions, situated learning. While the programs utilize technology to share mathematical problems, they are not inquiry based nor are they student-centered. I believe the CTGV (1992) did a great job at including technology in a meaningful way. While Khan Academy and the other programs absolutely have merit, they are not encouraging students to work together to solve real-life problems.
Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt (1992a). The Jasper experiment: An exploration of issues in learning and instructional design. Educational Technology, Research and Development, 40(1), 65-80.
Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt (1992b). The Jasper series as an example of anchored instruction: Theory, program, description, and assessment data. Educational Psychologist, 27(3), 291-315.
Shyu, H. Y. C. (2000). Using video‐based anchored instruction to enhance learning: Taiwan’s experience. British Journal of Educational Technology, 31(1), 57-69.