Appraisal of Computer Aided Instruction at the Open University and the evaluation of three specific programs.

Eardley, Robert Howard (1978). Appraisal of Computer Aided Instruction at the Open University and the evaluation of three specific programs. The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000f74a

Abstract

This dissertation begins with a review of different types of Computer Aided Instruction. A classification scheme developed from a variety of similar systems found in the literature is used to analyse the different forms of Computer Aided Instruction (CAI) in use at the Open University. The analysis is considered to be particularly relevant in view of the fact that some 10,000 student-terminal hours were devoted to CAI programs at the Open University during 1976.

The main type of CAI program in use at the Open University is the computation type. However, in the Physics discipline of the Science Faculty, which is the author's particular concern, the type of CAI program in use is of the calculational experiment type. Hence three calculational experiment programs used at the Open University's Summer School by the Physics discipline were selected for further scrutiny.

A study was undertaken to determine the effect of each program on student learning. No significant gains were noted. However, the use of relatively small groups (because of existing constraints) and tests which could have been more reliable may have contributed to this. The effect of each program on student attitudes was also measured, and it is of interest to note that with larger student groups, and more reliable measures, each program had a significant, and positive, effect on student attitudes towards the use of the programs concerned.

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