Integrative evaluation of computer assisted learning in geography in schools and university

Al-Fagih, Ahmed H. (1997) Integrative evaluation of computer assisted learning in geography in schools and university. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Evaluating CAL as part of an overall teaching and learning situation, can help school and university teachers to recognise strengths and weaknesses in their use and delivery of teaching method. This approach is called "integrative evaluation". This research extends the application of integrative evaluation methods to Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) in three ways: (1) to use the integrative approach at the secondary school level for the first time; (2) to investigate deep vs. surface learning in university students using CAL in conjunction with other resources; (3) to apply integrative evaluation to the field of CAL in Geography teaching for the first time. The research comprises four studies, each dealing with a different CAL package. Two of the studies were conducted in two secondary schools in the city of Glasgow, and two were carried out in the Geography Department at the University of Glasgow. The total sample population was 238 (74 school pupils and 164 university students). Various instruments besides classroom observation were used for evaluation purposes, including tests designed to measure learning outcomes, questionnaires designed to gauge pupils'/students' reactions, opinions and confidence levels and interviews. The software studied in this research comprised: (1) A database-like dealing with the geography of Japan. (2) An interactive CAL package related to the subject of the Weather. (3) A university-level CAL package on the subject of Glaciation which related theory to practical labs. (4) Five different application programs (including GIS and Minitab) being taught to university students in an IT course. In the 3 studies that measured learning, the evaluations showed definite gain due to the CAL, although with interesting variations from objective to objective. Among the other findings of the research are: (1) Two distinct patterns of correlation between CAL gains and pupils' geographical ability were detected in each of the school-based studies. It was concluded that low ability pupils gained more from a stimulating, interactive CAL package, but benefited less than more able pupils from a database-type package. (2) Students found the scheduled computer lab the most useful learning resource for learning about the five applications covered in the IT course. This finding clearly demonstrated that each resource had a specific role to play within the course, and that each resource is more suited to the achievement of certain learning objectives and less suitable for others. (3) Only a small shift from surface to deep learning was found by the end of the Glaciation course, even though the CAL package was specifically designed to link theoretical and practical knowledge. However, doubts raised about the design of questions used to determine the shift suggest that the shift may have been underestimated.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Educational technology, geography, computer-assisted instruction.
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
L Education > L Education (General)
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering
Supervisor's Name: Johnstone, Professor Alex and Draper, Dr. Steve
Date of Award: 1997
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1997-71758
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 17 May 2019 09:31
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2022 14:51
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.71758

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