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A Study of the Use of Computer-Assisted-Instruction for Older Learners in a Continuing Education Program

Description: The purpose of this study was to assess the achievement of older learners when using computer-assisted-instruction tutorials with no time limits and to compare this achievement with that of other older students who were taught by the conventional lecture method of instruction. The effects of prior formal education, physical limitations, socioeconomic status, and sex were also identified. Students in the age categories fifty-five to sixty-seven and sixty-eight and over were placed at random in either a control group that would receive instruction in the conventional lecture method or a treatment group that would receive computer-assisted-instruction. Each of the students in the study completed a demographic data form, received instruction, and was tested over the topics which had been covered. The test scores and demographic data were summarized and analyzed using two-way analysis of variance. The purpose of the analysis was to determine (1) if there was a significant difference in the effectiveness of the two methods of instruction, (2) if there was a significant difference in the performance of the two age categories, (3) if there was a significant interaction between the age levels and the methods of instruction, and (4) if the test scores were affected by past formal education, physical limitations, socioeconomic status, or sex. It was determined that students in the computer-assisted-instruction groups scored as well as those in the conventional lecture method of presentation groups. There were no significant effects from past formal education, physical limitations, socioeconomic status, or sex. However, there were trends in the data that warrant further study. It was recommended that educators be encouraged to use computer-assisted-instruction tutorials when working with older students. CAI was found to be at least as effective as the more conventional lecture method, and the growth and expansion of computer technology makes this a viable option for ...
Date: August 1989
Creator: Richardson, Susan Morris
Partner: UNT Libraries