A comparative analysis of interactive multimedia and instructor-led demonstration in teaching operation of networked computers
David Nathaniel Yearwood, The University of North Dakota, United States
The University of North Dakota . Awarded
This study examined the efficacy of utilizing a computer interactive multimedia module as a tool for increasing student understanding of network computers at UND-Lake Region. Ninety four incoming freshman students enrolled at UND-Lake Region for the 1998/1999 academic year participated in a study comparing two methods of instruction.
The following research questions were designed to analyze students' attitudes and retention of training received: (1) Were there differences between the groups on the achievement factors related to computer usage? (2) Were there differences between the groups on the attitude factors related to computer usage? (3) Were there differences between groups on student demographics (age, gender, type of community, prior use of computers, computer ownership, prior login experience on a network computer, and size of high school graduating class) on achievement and attitude? (4) What were the reactions to the experiment of the participating groups and those assisting the researcher?
A computer interactive multimedia module was designed and developed using Authorware, a software authoring package. The control group received instruction via the traditional instructor demonstration method while the experimental group utilized the constructed multimedia module. Principal Components with Varimax Rotations was used to reduce the number of items in the survey to factors that have common measurement properties. The three attitude factors were: uneasiness, layout, and mechanics (attitude). The three achievement factors were: mechanics (knowledge), usage, and general information. There were differences (p < .05) in the general information variable indicating that the experimental group retained more information about common aspects of computer operation and policy guidelines; there were differences between the two groups in the attitude factor uneasiness ( p < .05) indicating discomfort among those in the control group concerning use of the computers, and differences in the layout variable ( p < .01) indicating a strong preference for the design elements among those in the experimental group; observations of freshman students, along with comments and discussions held with participants, faculty, and computer staff indicated an overall dissatisfaction for the traditional method of training. There was general endorsement of the module for future training, pending minor changes and refinements. The following overall conclusions could be drawn: Learning from an interactive multimedia module may be as effective as traditional methodologies while eliminating the variability of teacher knowledge and experience; student perceptions of the effectiveness of the module may be reflective of their enthusiasm for computer technology.
Yearwood, D.N. A comparative analysis of interactive multimedia and instructor-led demonstration in teaching operation of networked computers. Ph.D. thesis, The University of North Dakota.
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