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Developing Computer Based Education and Self-Pacing for Introductory Sociology: A Teacher's Perspective


Drawing from personal experiences in the development of an interactive testing program for a sociology course, this paper discusses issues related to the use of computer-based education in social science classes. First, the paper describes the steps taken by the Community College of Denver to introduce interested faculty to the possibilities of computer-based education (i.e., soliciting formal proposals for the development of computer-assisted or computer-managed instructional techniques; awarding release time or overload pay to implement proposals; installing and staffing a computer laboratory; and providing readings, orientation workshops, and training to familiarize teachers with computer technology). The paper also focuses on the process of developing the interactive testing program, explaining facets of screen design and writing utility programs. The use of the program in an open-entry/open-exit course design is detailed, indicating that students were required to read learning objectives in their Study Guide, read the textbook, fill in an "active-reading guide" in the Study Guide, take a self-test, view a videotape associated with each unit, take a tutorial in the computer lab, and take chapter quizes using the interactive testing program. The paper then considers how coursework was evaluated, the role of the instructor, and the results of the lack of class/group interaction. Final sections of the paper consider problems such as the low completion rate and student complaints concerning the difficulty of the course and the lack of interaction with the teacher and other students; and the benefits of the computer-managed instruction for students and the teacher. (RO)


Susman, M.B. Developing Computer Based Education and Self-Pacing for Introductory Sociology: A Teacher's Perspective. Retrieved March 25, 2023 from .

This record was imported from ERIC on March 21, 2014. [Original Record]

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