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ERIC Number: ED397787
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Creating Personal Relevance through Adapting an Educational Task, Situationally, to a Learner's Individual Interests.
Dabbagh, Nada
Mandatory introductory level college courses, or "service courses," tend to be taught in lecture format, in a linear order from the instructor's point of view, and to classes of anywhere from 50 to 600 or more students. Students have individual differences and diverse learning styles which are difficult to address in a large class. Computer-based instruction can help overcome these constraints by adapting the content of the basic required courses to contexts relevant for the student, and by allowing the student to choose the most personally relevant context at the time of instruction. The learner-controlled format allows learner choice of lesson sequence, pacing, content, and other instructional variables that are adaptive to cognitive styles and prior knowledge. This gives the learner a sense of ownership of content, promoting relevancy and knowledge acquisition. A theoretical framework and foundational research are discussed. A pilot study was conducted of undergraduate students enrolled in a required introductory computer science class. Eighty-one of 140 students (72%) completed all parts of the study. A pre-attitude survey contained questions about demographics and most and least preferred context. The subjects were randomly assigned to three treatment groups, in which subjects were administered the program through: (1) their most preferred choice of context, (2) their least preferred choice of context, and (3) the abstract lesson, with no context. An attitude/motivation survey was conducted before and after the instruction to assess changes in students' attitudes/motivation towards the subject matter. A no-context achievement post-test testing recall, application, synthesis and evaluation of the concepts learned in the lesson was given to all participants. (Contains 24 references.) (SWC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A