ERIC Number: ED223129
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
The Outcomes of Learning from the Social Science Foundation Course: Students' Understandings of Price Control, Power and Oligopoly.
Taylor, Elizabeth; And Others
Students' understandings of the concepts of price control, oligopoly, and power before, during, and after taking a social science foundation course (D101) at Great Britain's Open University were investigated. Students were asked 10 questions on key concepts taught in the course. Three of the questions are addressed: (1) Why doesn't the conservative government want to control prices? (2) Does it matter that only two companies (Lever Brothers and Procter and Gamble) produce almost all the soap powder sold in Britain? (3) Why are trade unions powerful? These questions gave different pictures of change in students' understanding after the course. Question 1 showed little change in students' understanding, while question 2 showed a marked trend toward a more sophisticated understanding. Question 3 showed a confusing picture of results. Only for question 2 was there any evidence that the course had improved students' level of understanding. One possible reason for the study results is that changing conceptions is difficult and takes time. In addition, the way the course material addresses a concept may have important consequences for the students' ability to understand the concept. The importance of knowing students' initial constructions within a subject area as well as the approach a student takes to learning (i.e., memorizing versus understanding the message in the instructional materials), is suggested. A bibliography and information on the research methodology of the study are appended. (SW)
Descriptors: Business, Cognitive Style, College Students, Costs, Course Evaluation, Course Objectives, Economic Factors, Educational Objectives, Financial Policy, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Industry, Introductory Courses, Knowledge Level, Power Structure, Pretests Posttests, Social Sciences, Student Evaluation, Unions
Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, England MK7 6AA.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Open Univ., Walton, Bletchley, Bucks (England). Inst. of Educational Technology.
Identifiers: Open University (Great Britain)