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ERIC Number: ED556444
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 147
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3035-9687-2
Comparing Learning Outcomes among Community-College Students Based on the Use of a Microsoft Word Simulator
Felts, Renee R.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northcentral University
As increasing numbers of students enroll in introductory computer application courses, instructors have difficulty providing the needed assistance in the traditional laboratory setting. Simulators have been used to facilitate college instruction, but the effectiveness of using a simulator in an introductory computer application course had not yet been documented in a community college setting. The purpose of this quantitative, quasi-experimental study was to compare student learning outcomes in a computer-applications course in a small rural community college in southeast Virginia based on whether a simulator was used for instruction. Age differences (below 27 vs. 27 or above) were also included in the comparison. A nonequivalent-group, pretest-posttest design was used. As a result of both low enrollment and a high attrition rate, there were only 33 participants in the simulator group and 19 in the control group who participated in the study for the semester. Extending the study into the following semester was not feasible, as the software used in the selected community college was changed. All mean scores improved from pretest to posttest. There was no significant difference in the Time x Group interaction between the simulator and control groups, "F" (2, 47) = 2.62, "p" = 0.11. The between-group difference in the change scores was not significant, "t" (50) = -1.62, "p" = 11. After accounting for age differences (below 27 vs. 27 and above), again there was no significant difference in the Time x Group interaction between the simulator and control groups, "F" (1, 48) = 2.56, "p" = 0.12. The Age x Intervention interaction was also not significant, "F" (2, 47) = 0.23, "p" = 0.64. The findings suggested that the results with a simulator may be comparable to the results using the traditional textbook tutorial. However, as the study was underpowered, the results were inconclusive. This research contributed to the literature as a preliminary study, but future research is needed to confirm the results in a fully powered study. A study resulting in larger sample sizes is recommended. Studies conducted in other postsecondary environments would also be desirable. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia