The effects of students' involvement with the content of science-based interactive multimedia on: Achievement, attitudes, and higher level thinking skills
Valerie Frear, The University of Akron, United States
The University of Akron . Awarded
The computer, once thought of as an answer for numerous educational instruction problems, has generally proved disappointing. With each major advancement, the vision of the computer as a learning tool resurfaced, but generally failed to meet expectations. Perhaps the answer lies with interactive multimedia now available for the personal computer. At the time of this study there was a lack of research using this medium for instruction, especially any requiring student use for long periods of time.
Eight units of interactive multimedia simulating geological field trips were added to one section of an environmental geology course and compared to another section that did not receive the multimedia. These simulations took the students an average of 25 hours to complete.
This study examined the level of student involvement with the content of science-based interactive multimedia as measured by achievement, attitudes, and higher level thinking skills (many college students think at the concrete level but are taught at a higher level). The research design was quasi-experimental, using intact groups. Students self-selected into available sections of the course.
Data consisting of: course grades, pre- and post-cognitive level, science attitude, and computer attitude were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics.
Of eleven hypotheses tested, the following three were significant at the.05 level. (1) The proportion of students with a passing grade (B or better) was higher for those in the treatment group than those in the control group. (2) Students in all groups with a GALT (Group Assessment of Logical Thinking) score indicating cognitive development equal to transitional level or higher (score of 11 or above) performed significantly better (grade B or higher) when compared to those below transitional level. (3) Non-traditional students (both groups) performed significantly better (grade B or higher) when compared to traditional students in a science class for non-science majors.
This study adds to the current body of knowledge. It may assist educators' decisions about whether to use computers to promote problem solving skills, assist in studying and applying scientific methods, and replace science labs and field trips.
Frear, V. The effects of students' involvement with the content of science-based interactive multimedia on: Achievement, attitudes, and higher level thinking skills. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Akron.
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