The Computer Attitude Scale developed by Gressard and Loyd is one of the most frequently used instruments to assess computer-related attitudes among pre-service and in-service teachers. The present study reports on the development of the Hebrew language edition of this instrument by means of translation and back translation. Data provided by a sample of 298 female undergraduate students in Israel support the reliability and validity of the Hebrew version of this instrument. Alpha coefficients of 0.84, 0.85 and 0.88 are good indicators of the reliability of the three subscales. Construct validity was demonstrated by correlations ranging between 0.21 and 0.53 with various measures of previous computer-related behaviour or behaviourial intentions.
It is a common phenomenon for many mature female international students
enrolled in high education overseas to experience strain from managing
conflicting roles of student and family, and difficulties of cross-cultural
adjustment. The purpose of this study is to examine perceptions and behavioral
intentions of international female students towards e-learning as a tool for
resolving overseas high education and family strain from a technology
acceptance standpoint. To achieve this goal, Davis's (1989) technology
acceptance model is used as the study's conceptual framework, to investigate
perceived usefulness, ease of use and behavioral intentions towards e-learning.
The research draws on face-to-face interviews with 21 female international
students enrolled in classroom taught degree programs at a university in Wuhan,
China. The data is analyzed through coding and transcribing. The findings
reveal that given its convenience, e-learning is generally perceived as
practical in balancing study with family as well as feasible in saving time,
money and energy. However, key concerns were raised over the issues of poor and
costly Internet connectivity in developing countries, as well as perceived
negative reputation, lack of face-to-face interaction and lack of motivation in
online environment. Important issues and recommendations are raised for
consideration when promoting e-learning programme. This study emphasis on the
need to revisit gender supporting policies and effective marketing to
re-position the prevailing image of e-learning as a reputable and reliable
education delivery method.
This paper presents Apex, a system that can automatically assess a student essay based on its content. It relies on Latent Semantic Analysis, a tool which is used to represent the meaning of words as vectors in a high-dimensional space. By comparing an essay and the text of a given course on a semantic basis, our system can measure how well the essay matches the text. Various assessments are presented to the student regarding the topic, the outline and the coherence of the essay. Our experiments yield promising results.
An instrument to measure the various ways people use computers was developed and evaluated. Computers can be used as word processors, game machines, communication tools, accounting tools, and for a myriad of other applications. The Computer Use Scale (CUS) measures how people use computers across four dimensions: Enthusiasm, Entertainment, Efficiency, and Communication. These scales measure the extent to which individuals use computers as "cutting-edge" technology, as playthings, as tools to create better work in less time, or to communicate with others. The scale was found to be reliable and was able to detect differences among various classes of users. Applications of the scale to computer training, software design, and job placement are discussed.
To investigate whether and how commercial software products for literature do or could complement response-based pedagogy, an extensive review of existing applications was undertaken. Teams of language arts teachers, both preservice and inservice, met weekly to initially discuss and share observations regarding the potential of multimedia to support and enhance response-based approaches to the teaching and learning of literature. Preparation for weekly discussions entailed reading research from both the multimedia and response-based literatures, and examining multimedia applications across content domains. This approach was based on the belief that building up a sense of multimedia's potential was best achieved by first establishing general knowledge as to what the technology is capable of, and using this as a point of departure for participants to envision what response-based multimedia would ideally look like. That is, the researchers did not want teachers' attitudes toward multimedia and the teaching of literature to be influenced either positively or negatively by first examining literature applications. On the contrary, the researchers wanted the teachers to dream freely. A total of 49 multimedia applications for literature were reviewed by teacher/reviewer teams--24 applications were designed for elementary students, 25 for secondary. Through this process, teachers developed a list of desirable features for their ideal applications. Results, which were copious, were divided under headings on critical issues and "desiderata" (which lists 11 features that teachers would desire in multi-media services). (Contains 2 tables of data and 11 references.) (TB)
Biological sex and psychological masculinity and femininity are related to computer comfort (the inverse of anxiety), engagement and over-use. The study shows both greater masculinity and femininity to be related to greater computer comfort, greater masculinity to be related to greater engagement, and greater femininity to be associated with lesser over-use. While there are no sex differences in computer comfort and engagement, males appear more prone to over-use, but this is not mediated by sex differences in femininity. It is concluded that both femininity and masculinity are now propitious for the development of positive computer orientations, and that greater female negativity towards computers is waning. The expansion of computer applications into non-male dominated areas, such as inter-personal communication, is cited as a major explanation for these observations. The findings imply that some reduction of sex asymmetries in computing course enrolments should be expected, although it is speculated that this might only be marginal. Over-usage is identified as a major area of future concern.
Performance and attitudes in a high school programming course ( n = 72) were investigated as a function of degree of computer access (limited vs. unlimited); flowcharting usage (required vs. not required); and aptitude-treatment interactions (ATI's) involving these variables in combination with student gender and ability level. On four out of five performance measures, ATI results revealed a significant tendency for low-ability students to perform better under unlimited- than limited-access, and conversely for middle- to high-ability students. Regardless of computer-access level or student characteristics, the requirement to produce flowcharts negatively affected performance and attitudes. Only isolated gender effects were found. These and other findings are discussed with emphasis on their implications for teaching programming at the precollege level.
This study was designed to determine the effectiveness of using computer-delivery for specific learning-strategy training with undergraduate students. Two learning-strategy tutorials were developed to introduce 60 students enrolled in introductory computing courses at Old Dominion University in southwestern Virginia to microcomputer components. Both tutorials covered the same content, but one addressed comprehension-directed strategies and the other memory-directed strategies. Students in the two treatment groups and a control group completed two delayed and separately administered tests, one requiring cued recall and the other recognition. Results of analyses of the data indicate that the group mean scores for the treatment groups were significantly higher than the control group mean scores on the cued-recall test; however, the mean scores of the two treatment groups were not significantly different on this test. The group mean scores of subjects receiving comprehension-directed strategy training were significantly higher than the scores for the memory-directed group on the recognition test, and the scores of both experimental groups were significantly higher than those of the control group. It is suggested that the memory-directed strategies will enhance learning in cases where memorization of basic vocabulary is required, whereas comprehension-directed strategies will enhance rule-learning and problem-solving. (27 references) (BBM)
The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of two methods of keyboarding instruction: one in which students use keyboarding software without assistance, and the other in which students use the same software but have a tutor to guide them in its use. A total of thirty-two students, twenty-four boys and eight girls attending a special education resource program at a suburban elementary school participated in the study. Twenty-two of the participants had been classified as students with learning disabilities and ten as students with behavioral disorders. Half of the students (16) were randomly assigned to the self-directed group and half to the tutor-assisted group. Students in both groups received nine hours of instruction over a twenty-seven-day period with daily sessions thirty minutes in length. Two interim speed and accuracy tests were given approximately one week apart and then posttests measuring speed and accuracy as well as technique were administered on the last day of the study. Results showed that: a) students in both groups experienced a significant increase in keyboarding skills, b) tutors were beneficial in helping students establish proper hand position, body posture, and keystroking techniques, c) but tutors did not cause students to type with greater speed and accuracy.
Representations and changes between them play a major role in cognitive development (e.g., Vosniadou, & Brewer, 1992) and education (e.g., Hewson, Beeth, & Thorley, 1998). By definition, change of representations is also indispensable for collaborative work since a common understanding or shared knowledge can only be achieved by a partial convergence of the knowledge structures of the collaborating subjects. This articles presents and discusses knowledge tracking (KT), viz., an approach to analyze cognition on the basis of symbolic sequential data. We present and discuss the methodological aspects of KT and delineate the Web-based computer program (knowledge tracking engine, KTE) set up to run KTanalyses (http://www.knowledge-tracking.com). An empirical study in collaborative learning is taken to exemplify the usage of KT in analysis of computer supported collaboration.
When visualization tools utilized in computer programming education have been evaluated empirically, the results have remained controversial. To address this problem, we have developed a model of short-term effects of program animation, and used it in a series of experiments. In the current experiment, we varied visual representation of an animation tool and the type of students' engagement. Results of the current experiment analyzed together with the results from the earlier experiments provided support for the hypothesis that what a student does plays a more central role in the usefulness of a visualization than representation used by the tool. Moreover, the levels of engagement as they are generally used in the research literature seem not to be the best possible indicators of the effectiveness of a visualization. (Contains 11 tables and 4 figures.)
This review examines the definition, measurement, and correlates of computer anxiety as provided in available research. The concept of computer anxiety reflects an anxiety state, rather than an anxiety trait, thus rendering it susceptible to change over time. Computer anxiety is similar in nature to math anxiety and test anxiety. Two approaches to anxiety measurement exist. One focuses upon the direct development of an index of computer anxiety which is then related to other variables; the other involves indirect responses from subjects regarding their fears or attitudes toward computers derived from items on a survey of computer usage. Some generalizations regarding state-of-the-art in computer anxiety measurement are: The main approach has been use of self-report measures; a basic model for several instruments has been developed in connection with the State-Trait Inventory; Likert scale formats are frequently used; and items are developed from some rational definition of computer anxiety. The current research suggests the concepts of computer anxiety are difficult to measure validly, but what is measured can be done reliably. Potential correlates of computer anxiety include gender, state-trait anxiety, and hemisphericity. (DWH)
The human cognitive system possesses a finite processing capacity, which is split into channels for various modalities, and learning can be inhibited if any of the cognitive channels is overloaded. However, although the amount of e-learning materials is increasing steadily, the design of instructional material has been largely based on intuition rather than cognitive principles. This research investigated if it is possible to improve the effectiveness of an established e-learning system by the application of cognitive design principles. And if so, does the increased development time and resources yield a substantial effect on learning. Quantitative data collecting during the experiment supported the cognitive principles based design and demonstrated that significantly better quiz scores were obtained in transfer and retention tests when compared against a more traditional design. The results of the study also indicate that the cognitive principles based design was both practical and feasible to apply in terms of necessary resources.
Many consider rich argumentation to be the core of quality discussions and view it as a vehicle to solving problems and clarifying content. This study examined the influence of a discussion leader intervention on the quality of online argumentation and interactivity. Subjects were 44 undergraduate students who participated in online discussions on a technology issue over two weeks. Participants who received pre-determined instructions from the leader prior to the issue discussion were more likely to produce enriched argumentation and increased interaction than the control participants who did not receive specific instructions prior to the issue discussion. Results indicated that students participating in groups receiving specific argumentation instructions from the leader produced better online argumentation for the second week and exhibited increased interactivity patterns for both weeks.
The verbal interaction and problem-solving behavior of groups of high and average ability learners were compared during computer-assisted cooperative problem-solving to determine the problem-solving behaviors that relate to success within this context. Thirty-six fourth grade students were assigned to groups of three to form 12 groups, six of high and six of average academic ability. All groups were given the task of using Logo Turtlegraphics to reproduce a given line design on the computer screen. Results of the task were evaluated using four predictors of problem-solving success: (1) asking more task-related questions; (2) using a greater variety of problem-solving strategies; (3) spending more time on strategy; and (4) showing higher levels of strategy elaboration. It was found that high ability groups invested more time in strategy planning, used a greater variety of strategies and a greater number of long task statements, reached higher levels of strategy elaboration, and engaged in more social talk. The additional time that successful groups spent on problem-solving strategies was related to their use of longer task statements, questioning, and variety of problem-solving strategies. These findings suggest that teachers might try to foster the kinds of verbal interaction and problem-solving behaviors that appear to promote success in group computer learning, and that software should be designed in such a way as to stimulate group members to interact by asking questions of each other which may in turn promote the problem-solving process. A table depicting the means for a series of 2 (ability) by 2 (success) analyses of variance on each of the verbal interaction and strategy use variables is appended. (28 references) (CGD)
This study examined the effects of a computer-mediated networked learning environment on the writing of fifth grade students who used word processing to write four texts collaboratively during an 8-week period. A telecommunication network was utilized to allow the students in the experimental group to send their work via e-mail to an audience of readers who read and responded to their writing. Findings suggest that when students knew they would be sending their writing to an outside reader and when they received a prompt response, there was a positive effect on the quality of writing. Results also suggest females used the computer technology when the environment was cooperative and they had equal access to the equipment. There is also indication that writing to communicate to an authentic audience outside the classroom may have contributed to the males in the experimental group scoring higher on the writing assignments than the males in the control. (Contains 20 references.) (Author/JLB)
This study investigated the effects of incorporating concept mapping into computer assisted instruction (CAI). Ninety-one tenth-grade students in Singapore participated in the study, in which they were randomly assigned to three groups. In the Partial Map group, partial concept maps were used in the program and the students were asked to construct concept maps after reviewing each topic; in the Complete Map group, complete concept maps were provided; and in the Menu-Selection group, traditional menu-selection interface was used. The Complete Map group and Menu-Selection group performed note-taking activities instead of concept mapping activity. It was found that students in the Partial Map group performed significantly better than the other two groups on a chemistry achievement test and significantly better than the Menu-Selection group on a concept mapping test. The results suggest that assigning students with a concept mapping activity accompanying a CAI tutorial program is a plausible method to enhance their learning.
This is the author's draft of an article published in Journal of Educational Computing Research. http://www.baywood.com/journals/previewjournals.asp?id=0735-6331 Subjects (36 male, 36 female), aged from 15 to 52 years, performed a computer-based tracking task under one of six audience conditions in an experiment designed to investigate the effects of gender and social facilitation on performance. In addition to the computer task, each subject completed a 15-item questionnaire designed to identify levels of computer usage, computer-related anxiety, confidence and competence when using computers, and attitudes toward computers and computer users. Males performed significantly better than females, and a significant social facilitation effect was found. A significant Gender Audience interaction was found, with females performing very much better in the presence of a female audience than alone or with a male audience. The implication for educational policy and practice are briefly discussed.
Communication via computer networks is becoming more common each day. The differences between computer-mediated communication and face-to-face communication fall into three categories: (1) temporal factors (asynchronous versus synchronous); (2) spatial factors (geographical context and distance); and (3) social factors (participants, their relationships, and their purposes). Transcripts from networks provide a rich new database for researchers as the transcripts of all communications may be easily collected, and the medium demands that the communications be explicit. Current network transcript research includes a comparative analysis of a successful network versus an unsuccessful network, sociometric analysis of relationships among network members based on the number of messages sent and responded to, an exploration of the development of beginning teachers' theories about teaching, and research on the efficacy of the network as a training support mechanism. An example is provided by the Beginning Teacher Computer Network (BTCN), a small, interactive network dedicated to the support of teachers during their first year(s) in the classroom which has been in operation since 1987. Participants are graduates and faculty members of the teacher education program at Harvard Graduate School of Education (Massachusetts). A preliminary research analysis of 15 messages on BTCN shows a statistically significant, greater rate of message response to personal event narrative communications as opposed to the response given to more general description-oriented communications. References and sample messages are included. (DB)
This study investigated self-regulated learning in a web-based setting. SRL is defined as a learner's intentional efforts to manage and direct complex learning activities and is composed of three primary components including cognitive strategy use, metacognitive processing, and motivational beliefs. In the present study, these three components are defined relative to note-taking methods (cognitive component), the presence of self-monitoring prompts (metacognitive component), and the presence of academic self-efficacy building statements (motivation component). Research is reviewed relative to each SRL component in isolation in conjunction with other components. One hundred nineteen students were assigned randomly to one cell in a 2 x 2 x 2 design. The first factor corresponded to the note-taking condition. Students took notes in a matrix or a free form method. The second factor was presence or absence of self-monitoring prompts. The third factor was presence or absence of academic self-efficacy building statements. Students took notes from a web site about educational measurement and completed three achievement tests. Results indicated note-taking method had an influence on both information gathered and achievement. Further, academic self-efficacy building statements influenced students' self-reported beliefs in their capacity to succeed. Finally, self-monitoring prompts influenced achievement. Results are discussed relative to SRL theory, classroom application, and web-based instructional design.
This article argues for the existence of persistent conceptual "bugs" in how novices program and understand programs. These bugs are not specific to a given programming language, but appear to be language-independent. Furthermore, such bugs occur for novices from primary school to college age. Three different classes of bugs-parallelism, intentionality, and egocentrism - are identified, and exemplified through student errors. It is suggested that these classes of conceptual bugs are rooted in a "superbug", the default strategy that there is a hidden mind somewhere in the programming language that has intelligent interpretive powers.
This article looks at factors affecting the success of asynchronous online learning both through a review of the research literature and through an empirical investigation of student perceptions and course design factors in one of the largest asynchronous learning networks in the country. It finds that three such factors - consistency in course design, contact with course instructors, and active discussion- have been consistently shown to significantly influence the success of online courses. It is posited that the reason for these findings relates to the importance of building communities in asynchronous online learning environments.
This study compares teaching and learning activities in 4th and 5th grade classrooms that were permanently equipped with one laptop for each student and classrooms that share a cart of laptops that create a 1:1 laptop environment on a temporary basis. The study originated from a question posed to us by Andover Public Schools (MA): "How does teaching and learning differ when upper elementary students (4th and 5th graders) are provided with their own laptop computers?" In response to this question, we undertook an intensive two month study that employed a mixed methodology that included student surveys, student drawings, teacher interviews, and 56 structured classroom observations. The findings summarized in this article provide evidence of several differences in teaching and learning activities between the two settings. Classrooms that were fully equipped with 1:1 laptops showed more technology use across the curriculum, more use of technology at home for academic purposes, less large group instruction, and nearly universal use of technology for writing.
This is a Book review of "User Centered System Design: New Perspectives on Human-Computer Interaction", edited by D. A. Norman and S. W. Draper, Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1985. 526 pp. including glossary, subject-author index.
While much work has been done on. identifying and measuring the incidence of plagiarism in coursework, very little is known about the plagiarists themselves, and it is this issue that we address in this article. A model, developed to determine the factors that lead students to plagiarize, indicates that males are more likely to cheat than females, and those with higher entrance qualifications are less likely. Other factors correlated with cheating were the rate at which, the course work was completed, and the number of attempts needed to solve the problems; those who submitted their work early, and those who took fewer attempts to solve the problems, were less likely to cheat.
Children who had a year of Logo programming experience were asked to think-aloud about what brief Logo recursive programs will do, and then to predict with a hand-simulation of the programs what the Logo graphics turtle will draw when the program is executed. If discrepancies arose in this last phase, children were asked to explain them. A prevaient but misguided "looping" interpretation of Logo recursion was identified, and this robust mental model persisted even in the face of contradiction between what the program did when executed and the child's predictions for what it would do.
As learners use World Wide Web-based distance learning systems over a period of years, large amounts of learning logs are generated. An instructor needs analysis tools to manage the logs and discover unusual patterns within them to improve instruction. However, logs of a Web server cannot serve as learners' portfolios to satisfy the requirements of analysis tools properly. To resolve this problem, a data cube model is proposed to store learning logs for analysis. The paper also depicts the query language used to retrieve information from the database in order to construct the data cube. Data cubes and database technology are used as fundamental analysis tools to satisfy a distance learning instructor's requirements for managing and analyzing learning logs. Topics discussed include background on the difficulties in constructing an evaluation mechanism in current Web-based distance learning systems, a group discussion example, and system architecture. Three tables present data from the group discussion. Three figures illustrate managing the group discussion records by data cube technology, the visualization of the results, and the system framework. (Author/DLS)
This research was initiated to examine instructional technologies and educational cultures in relation to identified cognitive and metacognitive strategies uses in school tasks. The project involved activities from the social studies curricula that were presented through two new software programs intended to support the development of problem-solving and reasoning strategies - IDEA [Interactive Decision Envisioning Aid, Pea (76)] Notecards (34) - and through instructional approaches bases upon "cognitive apprenticeship" views of learning [Collins, Brown, and Duguid (36)]. After piloting the project, ten high school juniors participated in instruction with these technologies and redesigned methods, composing essays about their selection of arguments about a candidate for U.S. President and about a "most important social issue." Essays about these topics written prior, during and after the project were collected and analysed for their reasoning, using the work of Toulmin (40) and Hillocks (46). In addition, the ongoing interactions of the students with the instructional technologies were recorded and analysed to assess their cognitive and metacognitive strategies as they occurred. Quantitative analyses revealed significant (p<.05) increases in the "breadth" and "depth" of students' reasoning in the presidential candidate" essays as a result of the project (independently of the presented knowledge base), but little or no improvement in their reasoning in the "issue" essays (intended as transfer tasks). data collected from students' ongoing use of the technologies is also analyzed and reported, including positive correlations (Rho=.68, Rho=.78) between written reasoning and interactions with the "executive control" functions of the software programs. These results, as well as qualitative findings, are discussed in the relation to recent literature about cognition and learning with instructional technologies.
Although the use of hypertext systems for learning complex knowledge has been attracting recent attention, we currently have poor theoretical and research perspectives from which to understand special characteristics associated with learning in nonlinear and multidimensional hypertext instructional systems. A study was conducted to investigate a theory-based hypertext learning environment that provided instruction in a complex and ill-structured domain. The experimental treatment incorporated several features derived from recent cognitive learning theory, in particular a hypertext procedure that presented the instructional material in multiple contexts to highlight different facets of the knowledge. The main results of the study revealed that although the control treatment led to higher performance on the measures of memory for factual knowledge, the more hypertext-like treatment promoted superior knowledge transfer. Overall, these findings suggest hypertext learning environments that present the instructed knowledge by explicitly demonstrating critical interrelationships between abstract and case-specific knowledge components in multiple contexts will help prepare students to use knowledge in new ways and in new situations.
When a computer-based tool or application is used to carry out a specific task in a learning situation - that is, it is used for learning-more effectively or efficiently one speaks of learning with the tool or application. When, possibly, that same tool or application is used to enhance the way a learner works and thinks, and as such has effects that reach further than the learning situation in which it is used, then one speaks of learning from the tool or application. This article concentrates on the latter. It zooms in on the use of mindtools in education-computer programs and applications that facilitate meaningful professional thinking and working-because this is the epitome of learning from ICT. Mindtools and cognitive tools help users represent what they know as they transform information into knowledge and are used to engage in, and facilitate, critical thinking and higher order learning. These tools can be as simple as email and or discussion lists and as complicated as argument mapping and visualization systems. Even more specifically, it deals with one category of such tools, namely conversation tools; tools used to create and facilitate the establishment of technology-supported discourse communities - communities of practice - where collaboration can flourish.
This paper describes a collaborative professional development model in which faculty in a College of Education partnered with a local school district to design and implement a year-long project in an effort to increase effective integration of technology in instruction by K-8 classroom teachers, university teacher preparation faculty, pre-service teachers and novice teachers graduating from that teacher preparation program. A brief description of the project, its accomplishments and dilemmas, analysis of the project design and experiences of participants through the lens of situative professional development for teachers is presented. Lessons for structuring professional development such that subsequent improvements in technology use within partnership schools and teacher preparation programs can occur are discussed.
Reflection is an important aspect of learning in groups. In collective moments of reflection, learners can share and compare their ideas with others, and by doing so can reach an articulated and personal understanding of a learning task and domain. In the research presented here, e-mail is examined as a means for reflection in the context of group learning. In two design experiments, an e-mail tool is developed that seeks to (1) support collective reflection, and (2) overcome practical problems related to e-mail use in primary classrooms. Two prototypes of the tool are presented and tested in five primary classrooms. We conclude that e-mail supports collective reflection on a learning task after adding the following supportive measures to the regular e-mail program: (1) a fixed partnership, (2) fixed timing, (3) an exercise of individual freewriting, and (4) collective use of a paper worksheet.
We describe a new way of classifying uses of educational technologies, based on a four-part division suggested years ago by John Dewey: inquiry, communication, construction, and expression. This taxonomy is compared to previous taxonomies of educational technologies, and is found to cover a wider range of uses, including many of the cutting-edge uses of educational technologies. We have tested the utility of this taxonomy by using it to classify a set of "advanced applications" of educational technologies supported by the National Science Foundation, and we use the taxonomy to point to new potential uses of technologies to support learning. published or submitted for publication is peer reviewed
This article empirically supports the thesis that there is no clear and unequivocal argument in favor of simulations and experiential learning. Instead the effectiveness of simulation-based learning methods depends strongly on the target group's characteristics. Two methods of supporting experiential learning are compared in two different complex simulations with students and apprentices as the target groups, and with knowledge acquisition and control performance as the learning criteria. As a main result, students outperform apprentices in knowledge acquisition and transfer performance in general. And whereas students feel most self-efficient in the guided exploration learning setting, for apprentices it is just the opposite: apprentices feel less self-efficient after the guided exploration learning phase. Also in respect to knowledge acquisition, students benefit from both support methods equally well in the low complex simulation, whereas for apprentices the difference is great. Transfer performance and processing time is also affected by the target group, although the simulation complexity plays a greater role here. Finally, after the experiment both target groups differed largely in their motivation to use simulation-based learning environments again. Psychologically relevant differences in target groups are discussed.
A study examined the relative comprehension difficulty and the influence of reader and text characteristics on reading comprehension for texts presented in traditional print or on the microcomputer screen. Two urban samples of mixed ethnicity were used, 95 low reading level high school students (grades 9 through 12) and 112 high ability eighth grade students. Students read two types of text: (1) text that disseminated information and required recall or inferences and (2) text requiring written responses to specific directions. Each subject read one type of text passage presented either on paper or on microcomputer screen. Students also completed a questionnaire that measured their interest in and experience with the type of reading tasks they performed and elicited their subjective evaluations of the text. In the high ability eighth grade sample, results for media and reader characteristics (interest and experience) showed no significant differences for any variable. In the high school sample, however, the microcomputer group fared significantly better than the print group on comprehension, and males using microcomputers comprehended better than females on the direction following task. In both media, strong readers found the texts easier to read and found it easier to go from the reading passages to their answer sheets than did weak readers. Most microcomputer users reported no difficulties in keeping their places on the computer screen, but a quarter said that the screen hurt their eyes. These results support presentation of curriculum materials in either medium. (SKC)
This analysis of gender performance differences in a first-level New Zealand university course in computer science is predicated on the model of academic ability proposed by Charles Spearman, the eminent educational psychologist and statistician. The regression model is based on the theoretical constructs of general academic ability and specific academic ability. An attraction of this approach is that controls are effected for between-gender differences in these facets of academic ability. The analysis, which incorporates corrections to the standard errors to control for undesirable properties in the residuals, reveals a large, and unexpected, gender difference.
The article describes the development and validation of the 30-item Computer
User Self-efficacy (CUSE) Scale. Self-efficacy beliefs have been identified as
a factor which may contribute to the success with which a task is completed.
Because of the increasing reliance on computer technologies in all aspects of
life, it is important that the construct is measured accurately and appropriately.
In particular, the article focuses on the measurement of computer self-efficacy
in student computer users and its relevance to learning in higher education.
The scale was found to have high levels of internal and external reliability
and construct validity. Results also showed there to be significant positive
correlations between CSE and computer experience, familiarity with computer
software packages (which were significant predictors of CSE) and that
owning a computer and computer training increased CSE. In addition, males
showed significantly higher CSE than females. It is suggested that the scale
may be used to identify individuals, in particular students, who will find it
difficult to exploit a learning environment which relies heavily on computer
technologies. Once identified, motivational and personal control issues can be
addressed with these individuals.
This study examined extent to which differential exposure to computer literacy found with lower socioeconomic students is also characteristic of instruction for learning handicapped children in special education and mainstreamed classrooms. Results are discussed in terms of impact of placement in special education on students' ability to develop microcomputer skills. (Author/MBR)
Although considered an integral step in the instructional design process, formative evaluation has not received widespread use in the design of CAI (computer-assisted instruction). One issue is the developer's uncertainty in selecting a method of formative evaluation for a CAI product. The objective of this study was to examine the differential impact of two methods of formative evaluation on the revision of courseware. This study investigated the effects of one-to-one and small group methods of formative evaluation of microcomputer courseware on learner posttest scores after using a CAI program. Subjects were seventy-two female and fourteen male undergraduate students from instructional design classes at a midwestern state university. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of three groups and used either 1) the original CAI program, 2) the CAI program revised using the one-to-one method, or 3) the CAI program revised using the small group method. Results indicated a significant difference in learner posttest scores on the CAI products revised using the two methods of formative evaluation over the original version. There was no significant difference between posttest scores of the CAI products revised based on one-to-one or small group method of formative evaluation.
Sixty-two high-school biology students, paired heterogeneously based on prior knowledge, learned about genetic using GenScope, a computer-based learning environment (CBLE), over four 90-minute class periods. Differences between low and high prior knowledge students emerged with convergence of verbal process data and pre- and post-test product data. The low prior knowledge students gained significantly in conceptual understanding from pre- to post-test, whereas the high prior knowledge students' understanding did not significantly change. In an analysis of their verbalizations, low prior knowledge students regulated their learning by relying on their partners for cognitive and other regulatory support whereas the high prior knowledge students spent most of their time regulating their own learning or providing external support for their lower prior knowledge peer. The results of this naturalistic study can potentially be used to inform educational practice by highlighting scaffolds that may foster self-regulated learning in a CBLE-mediated science inquiry context.
A path modeling approach is adopted to examine inter-relationships between factors influencing computing behavior and computing course performance. Factors considered are gender, personality, intellect and computing attitudes, ownership and experience. Among many other conclusions, intrinsic motivation is suggested as a major factor which can explain many variables’ relationship with course performance. Similarly to the common finding for non-computing specialist students, a male advantage in previous computing experience is observed, gender differences in computer ownership partially explaining this. In the absence of an attitudinal gender difference, the ownership difference is suggested to stem from the perception of computers as objects stereotypically bought by and for males. However, while having implications with respect to the gender imbalance usually observed on programming-oriented and more technically-oriented applications courses, these differences are not shown to confer a male advantage in course performance.
The characteristics of students taking programming-oriented and applications-oriented higher education courses are compared. Relative to the latter students, the former students' personalities are shown to be of a more schizoid nature, this providing an explanation of these students' greater computer engagement, programming experience and computing aptitude, at least as far as males are concerned. The extent to which programming experience is accumulated by females is concluded to be a major factor explaining the greater gender imbalance in enrolment on the programming-oriented course. Psychometric measures are found to be useful over and above cheaper, more easily obtainable, information in discriminating between the two types of student. However, psychometric measures are not found useful in increasing the association between correctness of course classification subsequent to Discriminant Function Analysis and success/failure on the courses. Finally, the same set of characteristics, involving among other things, greater involvement in computing, is found to be associated with success irrespective of course.
The rapid growth of end-user computing, low-cost communication, and the development of the Internet has lead to a surge of online courses. In light of this, many educators still await the promise of technology's power to improve teaching effectiveness. This article presents an exploratory study of a Web-based distance education course at a major Australian university. We identify three critical success factors associated with teaching effectiveness in online delivery - technology, the lecturer, and the students' previous use of the technology. We also argue that the lecturer will continue to play a central role in online education, albeit his or her role will become one of a learning catalyst and knowledge navigator.
Increasingly, technology skills are becoming central to academic and economic success. More and more technological tools are becoming a vehicle for teaching and learning and a vehicle for buying and selling goods. However, research continues to show that women lag behind men in PC-ownership regardless of social economic status (SES) or education level (Lenhart, 2003; McConnaughey & Lader, 1998); girls take fewer computer science and computer design courses and consistently rate themselves significantly lower than boys in terms of computer skills (AAUW, 1998); men outnumber women 6 to 1 in computer science Ph.D. programs (AAUW, 2000; Furger, 1998); and girls and boys are more likely to perceive computers as a male domain (Clewell, 2002; Eastman & Krendl, 1987). Due to our society's increasing dependence on technological skills, the continued existence of the technological gender and cultural gap is a problem that must be explored with vigor in order to ensure that the technological tools we use provide equitable access to and experiences for women and children of color.
This paper proposes a professional learning model, content-focused technology inquiry groups, that is guided by a situative perspective on teacher learning. Longitudinal case study research will be reported, focusing on the participating teachers’ learning and technology integration during the first year of implementation of such a model in a local urban school. Analysis of inquiry group meeting transcripts, teacher interviews, and instructional observations reveal five distinct case studies of teachers’ technology learning and integration/use. This paper describes the five cases and discusses the potential relationship between teacher learning and characteristics of the technology inquiry group.
The question of what makes for effective teacher professional development in
ICT is an enduring one. In a recent study in Queensland (Australia) we visited
19 rural and regional schools and interviewed teachers, administrators and ICT
coordinators to find that a school-based practicum was effective in impacting
the practice and beliefs of individual teachers. This paper, through reference to
our field study findings and briefly describing four of its case studies, concludes
that the practicum’s success is related to its being an example of situated
professional development. The findings of the study have implications for
professional development programs aimed at increasing the use and integration
of ICT in classrooms.
This article reports on a year-long study of high school students learning computer programming. The study examined three issues: I) what is the impact of programming on particular mathematical and reasoning abilities?; 2) what cognitive skills or abilities best predict programming ability?; and 3) what do students actually understand about programming after two years of high school study? The results showed that even after two years of study, many students had only a rudimentary understanding of programming. Consequently, it was not surprising to also find that programming experience (as opposed to expertise) does not appear to transfer to other domains which share analogous forrnal properties. The article concludes that we need to more closely study the pedagogy of programming and liow expertise can be better attained before we prematurely go looking for significant and wide reaching transfer effects from programming.