ERIC Number: ED310742
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar-28
An Observational Study of Social Processes in Microcomputer Classrooms.
Feldmann, Shirley C.; And Others
This observational study examined student and teacher verbal and nonverbal behaviors in microcomputer classrooms in a high school where most of the students are Black, Hispanic, or Asian, and almost half of them are classified as economically disadvantaged. A total of 125 students in grades 9 to 12 were observed, with 47 students in marketing, 18 in social studies, 29 in English, and 31 in stenography classes. The objectives of the study were to determine: (1) the effects on student behavior of grouping at the computer (individual or paired), student keyboard status (keyboarding, not keyboarding, taking turns), gender, type of class, gender of partner if applicable, and academic discipline; and (2) the effects on teacher behavior of student grouping at the computer (individual or paired), student gender, and academic discipline. The study provides evidence that two contextual variables--student grouping at the computer and academic discipline--seem to be related to social processes in the computer classroom. These variables produced variations in the nature and frequency of student behaviors, with students who were paired being more verbally active and showing more positive reactions to their work. There were also differing responses across disciplines, probably linked to the particular curriculum that was observed. Teachers involved in whole class activities, as compared to individual interactions, gave a higher than expected frequency of procedural information. Results of analyses of the data are displayed in 22 tables. (5 references) (GL)
Descriptors: Classroom Observation Techniques, Computer Uses in Education, Economically Disadvantaged, Educational Sociology, Group Dynamics, High School Students, High Schools, Microcomputers, Minority Groups, Motivation, Nonverbal Communication, Secondary Education, Student Behavior, Teacher Behavior
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Libraries and Learning Technologies (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, March 28, 1989).