The uses of computer-Assisted learning in educational institutions
center850009088120June 1, 2018
cOLLEGE OF HARINGEY, ENFIELD AND NORTH EAST LONDONAuthor: Essa Isa1000000June 1, 2018
cOLLEGE OF HARINGEY, ENFIELD AND NORTH EAST LONDONAuthor: Essa Isa
TOC o “1-3” h z u Introduction PAGEREF _Toc517312083 h 2Aims PAGEREF _Toc517312084 h 2Methods PAGEREF _Toc517312085 h 2Removable partial denture design University of Glasgow PAGEREF _Toc517312086 h 3Intestinal motility Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School PAGEREF _Toc517312087 h 3Integration of computers in classrooms Vanderbilt University PAGEREF _Toc517312088 h 4Results PAGEREF _Toc517312089 h 5Removable partial denture design – Findings PAGEREF _Toc517312090 h 5Intestinal motility – Findings PAGEREF _Toc517312091 h 6Student learning PAGEREF _Toc517312092 h 7Perspectives PAGEREF _Toc517312093 h 8Bibliography PAGEREF _Toc517312094 h 11
List of figures
TOC h z c “Figure” Figure 1 – Interactive Prosthodontics: Learning to Design Removable Partial (Lechner SK & Thomas, Sydney University Dental School) PAGEREF _Toc517216595 h 3Figure 2 – illustration of video conference: Guest speaker and Author, Robert Putnam speaking to staff and Students via videoconference. PAGEREF _Toc517216596 h 5Figure 3 – RPD knowledge assessment score (Before and after) PAGEREF _Toc517216597 h 6
List of tables
TOC h z c “Table” Table 1 – Comparison of the scores between students from DEM and CAL groups. PAGEREF _Toc517224905 h 4Table 2 – A comparison of the resources used for the both intestinal motility groups (Note that the computer program was only paid for once at the sum of £120 as well as the diskettes at £10) PAGEREF _Toc517224906 h 7Table 3 – Evaluation questionnaire of the students that took part in a CAL initiative for removable partial denture design at the University of Glasgow PAGEREF _Toc517224907 h 8
IntroductionThe evolution of education; from the development of writing in ancient civilizations to a day where you can access an abundance of wisdom at quite literally, the palms your fingertips. Throughout the history of our species, mankind in its primitive quest for survival has taken enormous leaps towards adapting the most efficient, most prudent tool in its arsenal; the brain.
Through the implementation of early educational systems have individuals’ skills, ability and potential been harnessed. Evidently, when you take look at the technology that teachers and students have in their arsenal today, it is safe to say that one of the greatest changes to education has been through the incorporation of computers, and while technology has changed drastically with time there is evidence to support that as time stands, we have not yet maximised its full utility in our Schools and Universities. While transitioning from the board and chalk of yesterday to the Smart-boards of today may appear to be an indicator of progress, it’s a topic of current interest as to how far computers have truly changed learning and teaching for the better, or for the worst.
AimsIn this mixed-method report we will explore both, the positive and problematic implications attached to Computer-assisted learning(CAL) and investigate if, how, why and when CAL could be used to enhance the learning and teaching process within educational institutions. As such, this report almost exclusively focuses on young learners that are within school/University age.
MethodsThe study investigates the publication of reports conducted by three prominent Schools; University of Glasgow (Glasgow, United Kingdom), Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School (London, United Kingdom), and Vanderbilt University (Nashville Tennessee, United States). The aims of the study require thorough cross-analysis between different instances to measure the effectiveness of CAL at a broader scale and as such, a mixed-method report is appropriately selected in the instance of compiling and evaluating both quantitative and qualitative data into a single report. We deliberately take a close look at earlier reports and studies (1990-2010) as this highlights the forefront of technological integration in order to estimate future implication for further advancement.
Removable partial denture design University of GlasgowA two-year study of 39 fourth-year dental students took place to investigate the effectiveness of using computer-aided learning (CAL) in the training of removable partial denture (RPD) design.
Students were initially made to split into four groups and complete an online RPD 31 question assessment to submit via Moodle (online personalised learning environment). Students were given four sessions of 6 hours to access the courseware titled ‘Interactive Prosthodontics: Learning to Design Removable Partial Dentures’ ( REF _Ref517037006 h * MERGEFORMAT Figure 1.) in addition to their normal reading and text-books. By the end of the CAL sessions, students were asked once more to take the online RPD assessment and provide evaluation which describes what they thought about the interactive courseware and its impact on their new scores.
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 1. – Interactive Prosthodontics: Learning to Design Removable Partial (Lechner SK & Thomas, Sydney University Dental School)
Intestinal motility Charing Cross and Westminster Medical SchoolIn 1993, 153 pre-clinical students took part in a study to compare the effectiveness of two separate teaching methods for a lab practical on intestinal motility. The 153 students were indiscriminately divided into two groups: a tutored demonstration of the live laboratory practical (DEM) group, versus computer-assisted learning (CAL) group. The students belonging to the CAL group received a computer simulation which allowed them to access numerous different reports, material and experiments on the basis of the relevant lab practical.
Although contact-time varied greatly between the groups during study time, both groups received equally qualified tutors during the lab demonstration as they completed 5 questions to test their knowledge and comprehension of the lab practical ( REF _Ref517036942 h * MERGEFORMAT Table 1).
Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 1. – Comparison of the scores between students from DEM and CAL groups.
Integration of computers in classrooms Vanderbilt UniversityIn 2000, economics students at Vanderbilt University took part in a new experiment run by their faculty with the intention of integrating computer systems in a way that would facilitate new systems of learning and teaching.
As part of the initiative, students were told that they would be listening to guest speakers internationally via videoconference ( REF _Ref517190777 h * MERGEFORMAT Figure 2). For the first time, students would also receive lecture notes made accessible online, interactive course software, and CD assignments to complete prior to their next lessons.
Students and teachers were then asked to comment on if and how the initiative set out by the faculty had reshaped their learning.
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 2. – illustration of video conference: Guest speaker and Author, Robert Putnam speaking to staff and Students via videoconference.
Results REF _Ref517196514 h * MERGEFORMAT Removable partial denture design – Findings
The study following RPD students combined assessment results from both years one and two. Upon analysis of the improved courseware post-assessments (year two), results displayed clear indication of the usefulness of CAL, ( REF _Ref517195369 h * MERGEFORMAT Figure 3) with the mean score before the use of CAL being 37.56 compared with 53.60 post courseware intervention” CITATION McK06 l 2057 (McKerlie, 2006). A good note of mention is that while post-RFD results indicated an overall improvement in assessment scores, overall credibility may have varied both positively or negatively according to some factors including:
General competency of teachers/students with the use of the courseware and Computers.
Whether the pre-assessment prepared students well enough to predict the post-assessment questions thus itself, inflated the post-assessment results.
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 3: RPD knowledge assessment score (Before and after)
The study had the potential to provide greater credibility by using similar strategies to that of the REF _Ref517196619 h * MERGEFORMAT Intestinal motility research by dividing groups of students into those that were given access to CAL and those who did not, and then proceeding to compare the set of results.
REF _Ref517196619 h * MERGEFORMAT Intestinal motility – Findings
Students had their course knowledge assessment scores ( REF _Ref517197382 h Table 1) reviewed and analysed. While there was no drastic statistical difference of mean scores between the conventional (DEM) and courseware (CAL) groups of students, it appeared that the DEM group had (on average) outperformed their CAL peers in all areas of the assessment.
We found that while there was very little to no difference in between the two groups for question 1 ( REF _Ref517197382 h Table 1) as a group, the courseware learners struggled somewhat more with the remaining four questions, which all seemingly required a stronger, comprehensive grasp of the topic at hand, judging by the overall mean scores. Results can infer that while the interactive CAL group did not fail to perform significantly, it would be deemed sensible to continue with conventional teaching methods. Correspondingly, a study carried out in Norway CITATION Ann12 l 2057 (Mangen, 2012) may support these results by suggesting that working memory and comprehension of given information is not processed as efficiently as compared to printed text documents.
A review however, of the resource expenditure for both groups ( REF _Ref517210345 h * MERGEFORMAT Table 2) illustrates that the cost-effectiveness of CAL was greatly more efficient than the DEM groups:
The department only had to purchase material for CAL students once, totalling £130 for the faculty in comparison to the catering of DEM groups who would need £60 of new material re-ordered thereafter.
Significantly less use of staff resources (19 hours*£10=£190) compared to the DEM groups (80 hours*£10=£800)
Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 2. – A comparison of the resources used for the both intestinal motility groups (Note that the computer program was only paid for once at the sum of £120 as well as the diskettes at £10)
Intestinal motility student (mean) results however, displayed a clear dissimilarity with the results produced by the CAL students on removable denture design ( REF _Ref517207337 h Figure 3). Reasons to note for discrepancies may include:
Deviations between the effectiveness of the CAL courseware
Levels of material comprehension required for the assessments
CAL group being neglected of staff/technical support in contrast to their DEM peer group ( REF _Ref517210345 h * MERGEFORMAT Table 2.)
Findings for Vanderbilt (come back to?)
Student learningUltimately the usefulness of CAL is put in the hands of the educators and when appropriately used as a resource, has proven time again to be highly positive in students learning CITATION Pet98 l 2057 (Peter Devitt, 2008). Peter adds that when used as a tool, there were objective gains in not only knowledge but the problem-solving skills attached to having to deal with technical issues as well as reducing the “passivity factor” CITATION Ell00 l 2057 (Granberg, 2000) as Professor Tomarken puts it, and having students interact with their learning. Similarly, an evaluation questionnaire completed by students who took part in the REF _Ref517196514 h * MERGEFORMAT Removable partial denture design study found that the majority of learners deemed the interactive courseware provided by the faculty as useful in aiding their learning, (Refer to REF _Ref517223893 h * MERGEFORMAT Table 3) further backing the many studies which suggest that a major key to “deep learning” CITATION alC07 l 2057 (al, 2007) is interactive learning.
On the other hand, and as Professor Tomarken also indicates, giving students access to computers in classrooms has the potential to greatly diminish productivity as it could become a machine for distraction. This simple fact may help us to understand the negative results of the CAL students in contrast to their DEM peers (Refer to REF _Ref517036942 h Table 1) and to be aware of the reality that the learning process can be hindered when technology is not used sensibly.
Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 3 – Evaluation questionnaire of the students that took part in a CAL initiative for removable partial denture design at the University of Glasgow
PerspectivesWhat we found in the study is a divergent attitude amongst teachers across many schools in CALs’ potential to alter the dynamics between their students and themselves. On the one hand, groups of teachers agree that by making lessons more engaging through the use of multi-media tools (e.g. videos) and then holding a discussion on the provided context, this would subtly enhance the educating of their pupils’ as students recognise the value you hold on furthering their learning and in turn work as Tomarkin puts it, as ‘an appreciation factor that ultimately contributes to their own motivation’ CITATION Ell00 l 2057 (Granberg, 2000). A follow-up evaluation of the students from the REF _Ref517196619 h * MERGEFORMAT Intestinal motility group found that the majority of students strongly shared a similar attitude in agreeing that teacher-student contact enhanced their learning CITATION HLL16 p 66 l 2057 (H. L. Leathard & D. G. Dewhurst, 2016, p. 66). Tutors from the same study commented that CAL student results ( REF _Ref517036942 h * MERGEFORMAT Table 1) clearly demonstrated that courseware was not an appropriate replacement for conventional strategies and that the CAL group were disadvantaged; they argue that computers should only be used as a ‘supplement to demonstrations’CITATION HLL16 p 45 l 2057 (H. L. Leathard & D. G. Dewhurst, 2016, p. 45).
There were also expressed concerns regarding the impact of a highly interactive classroom setting on a particular group of students. Some students from the REF _Ref517196514 h * MERGEFORMAT Removable partial denture design study argued that the nature of interactive courseware meant that lecturers would promptly read off PowerPoint slides and take questions for open discussion which often lead to a lack of notes and distraction. The students highlighted that their learning was somewhat negatively affected by the interactivity factor of CAL, and that there was a ‘dereliction of duty on the part of the tutors’CITATION McK06 p 32 l 2057 (McKerlie, 2006, p. 32).
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Granberg, E. M. (2000). How Technology Enchances Teaching and Learning. CFT’S newsletter.
H. L. Leathard ; D. G. Dewhurst. (2016). Comparison of the cost-effectiveness of a computer-assisted learning program with a tutored demonstration to teach intestinal motility to medical students. Research in Learning Technology, 118-125.
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Mangen, A. (2012). Reading linear texts on paper versus computer screen: Effects on reading comprehension. University of Stavanger.
McKerlie, R. A. (2006). Evaluation of Computer-assisted learning courseware to reinforce the teaching of removable partial denture design theory. Durham: Durham University. Retrieved from dur.ac.uk: http://community.dur.ac.uk/pestlhe.learning/index.php/pestlhe/article/view/124/140
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