Date Approved

6-1-2000

Embargo Period

6-21-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Subject Matter Teaching: Biological Sciences

Department

Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Meagher, Richard

Subject(s)

Science--Computer-assisted instruction; Science--Study and teaching (Secondary)

Disciplines

Science and Mathematics Education

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if the utilization of computers in the classroom would increase student learning. The participants were eighty-two seventh grade students from Demarest Middle School in Demarest, New Jersey. The students were organized into four heterogeneously mixed classes. The study was conducted over approximately two weeks. All students received introductory instruction on amphibians and frog anatomy and physiology. Two classes then completed the traditional specimen dissection, while the other two classes completed a computer-simulated dissection. The classes then switched and performed the alternative dissection procedure. Their performance was measured by the results on the test administered after each dissection. Prior to the study and after the study, students responded to a survey to assess the qualitative aspects of the research. The t Tests performed on the test scores resulted in no significant differences. However, the survey results indicated a positive perception of learning with the computer and a general enjoyment of its use. It was concluded that additional research is necessary due to the limited nature of the assessment in relationship to the possibilities afforded by current computer technology.

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