ERIC Number: ED255389
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985
Reference Count: 0
Effects of Microcomputer Simulations on Achievement and Attitudes of Middle School Students.
Shaw, Edward L., Jr.; Okey, James R.
This 10-day study compared the effects of alternative ways of using microcomputer simulations on the achievement and attitudes of sixth- and seventh-grade science students (N=173). Nine classes were randomly assigned to one of four treatments: (1) microcomputer simulations; (2) laboratory activities; (3) a combination of simulation and laboratory activities; and (4) conventional instruction. Topics covered during lessons included the process skills of observing, hypothesizing, testing, classifying, and recording data. Simulations were completed as a class with the teacher operating the microcomputer and simulation programs. Students worked in groups of two or three during laboratory activities. Simulations were presented prior to activities in the combination treatment. Results show: that simulations, activities, and combination of these two instructional strategies results in higher achievement than conventional instruction; no achievement or attitude differences among groups receiving computer simulations, laboratory activities, or a combination of the two; and no attitude differences among the four groups. Other findings show: that students at the high and middle levels of logical reasoning ability out-achieved students at the low level of logical reasoning ability; no differences in attitudes among these three groups; and the effects of alternative instructional strategies to be consistent across levels of logical reasoning ability. (Author/JN)
Descriptors: Abstract Reasoning, Academic Achievement, Computer Simulation, Conventional Instruction, Intermediate Grades, Junior High Schools, Logical Thinking, Process Education, Science Activities, Science Education, Science Instruction, Secondary School Science, Student Attitudes, Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Science Education Research
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (58th, French Lick Springs, IN, April 15-18, 1985).