ERIC Number: ED238724
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Reference Count: 0
Results from an Investigation of Groups Working at the Computer.
Trowbridge, David; Durnin, Robin
This study examined learning by individuals and groups in a computer environment. Individual interactivity as a function of group size was investigated by focusing on various modes of interaction available to students while they completed activities using a computer. The activities, which involved manipulation of pictures of batteries, bulbs, and wires on the computer screen to perform simple experiments with simple direct current (DC) circuits, involved high-level learning (reasoning skills and conceptual understanding). Achievement was measured by administering brief paper and pencil tests and individual interviews. Data were also collected for subjects (N=58 seventh and eighth grade students) on age, sex, grade point average, and family income. The study also investigated students' grasp of concepts being taught by having them apply their knowledge to appropriate non-computer tasks, and certain global aspects of the group session to provide generalizations of typical social and psychological behavior in the computer-based learning environment. Among the findings reported are those indicating an advantage of small group usage (two to three students per group) over individual usage of highly interactive computer-based instructional materials and that students working in such groups seemed more likely to interpret program questions as the authors of the materials had intended. (JN)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: California Univ., Irvine. Educational Technology Center.
Identifiers: Group Size; National Science Foundation; Science Education Research