An examination of the effects and costs of instruction that relies on computer assisted instruction for delivering and managing homework assignments in college calculus courses

TitleAn examination of the effects and costs of instruction that relies on computer assisted instruction for delivering and managing homework assignments in college calculus courses
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsDavidson, A
UniversityUniversity of Rochester
CityRochester, NY
Thesis TypeDoctoral
Abstract

Authors' abstract: Computer assisted instructional software is designed to automate certain aspects of instructional practice, thereby reducing, re-defining, or eliminating altogether classroom instructional responsibilities. Working on the hypothesis that such a practice enhances key educational outcomes, educators on all levels of the educational continuum have been committed in recent years to exploring ways of integrating computer assisted instructional software into classroom practice. Instruction reliant on computer assisted instructional software to distribute and manage mathematics homework assignments (Computer Assisted Homework or CAH) is one such application that has become quite popular on college campuses in the past few years. Unfortunately, the growth in popularity has not been accompanied by empirical support. Rather, research on the topic is ambiguous and conflicting. With the position that much of the ambiguous nature of these results can be explained in terms of instructional factors in addition to characteristics of the software itself, this research explored the relationship between the effectiveness of instruction involving a specific computer assisted instructional software program and the conditions under which it was implemented. Additionally, the research investigated the cost of different implementations of instruction involving this computer assisted instructional software relative to conventional instraction. Three separate comparisons to conventional instruction were made. Quantitative methods were used to evaluate the effectiveness relative to conventional instruction along a number of key dimensions in each of the three comparisons, while a mixture of qualitative methods were used to generate working hypotheses with respect to the relationship between these effects and the actual conditions within which comparisons were carried out. Cost benefit analysis was used to assess the costs of the medium relative to conventional instruction. Four key factors were identified as possible influences on effectiveness. These dimensions include: 1) How computer assisted instructional software was used to enhance instruction, 2) the framework of the course within which it is used, 3) the background and behavior of the instructors involved with its use, and 4) the background and behavior of the students involved with its use. Results also suggested instruction reliant on this program was more cost-effective than conventional instruction in 2 of the 3 comparisons.

URLhttp://search.proquest.com/docview/305154572