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Title:The Effects on Student Learning of Program Control Versus Learner Control in Computer-Based Vocabulary Drills
Author(s):Chang, Ya-Fung
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Technology of
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Abstract:To explore the computer's strengths for individualized instruction, two control strategies were compared in the design of vocabulary drills. The program control strategy utilized the principles of the Corrective Feedback Paradigm (Siegel & Misselt, 1984) to control the operation of drills. The learner control strategy provided learners with three options to set up and control their own drills. These options included selection of practice items, feedback, and review schedule. The effects investigated were student performance in immediate recall and retention, attitudes toward instruction, and rates of learning.
Forty-nine students enrolled in an introductory Spanish course volunteered for this study. They were asked to learn 50 Spanish words in three learning sessions. A learning session lasted 40 minutes. Random assignment was made when the subjects signed on to a computer system for the first time. Prior to the first learning session, the subjects were familiarized with the computer keyboard and the keypresses for Spanish accent marks. When the last learning session was over, the posttest and the attitude scale were administered. The same vocabulary test was administered a week later for retention.
Analyses of the data showed no significant differences between the two treatment groups in the posttest and retention test scores. Furthermore, there were no significant differences in the attitude scores. However, the learner-controlled (LC) group took longer to complete the learning task than did the program-controlled (PC) group. Consequently, the PC group had a significantly higher learning rate than the LC group based on posttest performance. The PC group also had a higher retention rate although not significantly higher. Finally, the female students were found to learn significantly faster than the male students.
In conclusion, the presumed advantages of learner control were not demonstrated in the current study. Learners may need time to adjust instruction to their own needs. It is strongly recommended that further studies of learner control be held in a long term setting. Other recommendations concerning further research on control strategies are provided.
Issue Date:1987
Description:210 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8802995
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1987

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