The impact of strategic and cooperative learning on Taiwanese eighth graders' computer achievement, attitudes, and anxiety
Meng-Jung Tsai, The University of Texas at Austin, United States
The University of Texas at Austin . Awarded
The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of strategic learning and cooperative learning on junior high school students' computer achievement, attitudes, and anxiety. A total of 155 Taiwanese eighth graders participated in the study while learning how to access a bulletin board system (BBS) in their weekly computer courses. Four treatments (i.e., strategic learning, cooperative learning, cooperative strategic learning, and traditional direct teaching) were randomly assigned to four intact classes. Students, in all groups, learned the same topic and were taught by the same instructor. A pretest-posttest survey was administered to measure students' attitudes and anxiety toward using computers. Students' final grades for the BBS learning unit and their pretest midterm grades, served as a covariate variable, were collected for measuring students' computer achievement. A MANCOVA followed by three ANCOVAs was used to test all hypotheses identified in this study.
No significant differences were found among groups concerning students' computer achievement and attitudes. However, a significant difference between the cooperative learning group and the control group was detected concerning computer anxiety. Surprisingly, students in the cooperative learning group had a significantly higher level of computer anxiety than did those enrolled in the control group. This implies that cultural issues may be a variable that have interacted with the cooperative learning context in a Taiwanese junior high school computer course. Besides, a significant interaction was found between the gender and the teaching methods regarding students' computer achievement. Girls achieved significantly higher than boys did in both of the strategic learning embedded groups, while boys achieved higher than girls did in the cooperative learning group. This suggests that strategic learning may be an effective approach to promote female students' performance and motivation in learning technology related courses. Furthermore, the boys had a significantly higher level of computer anxiety than did the girls in the cooperative strategic learning group. According to the investigator's observation and students' feedback collected in this particular group, it was concluded that the selection of learning topics and students' interests had interacted with students' anxiety toward using computers in a junior high school computer literacy course.
Tsai, M.J. The impact of strategic and cooperative learning on Taiwanese eighth graders' computer achievement, attitudes, and anxiety. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Texas at Austin.
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