The interplay between different forms of CAI and students' preferences of learning environment in the secondary science class

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Chang, C. Y.
Tsai, C. C.

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This evaluation study investigated the effects of a teacher-centered versus student-centered computer-assisted instruction (CAI) on 10th graders' earth science student learning outcomes. This study also explored whether the effects of different forms of computer-assisted instruction (CAI) on student learning outcomes were influenced by student preferences of learning environment (PLE). A total of 347 10th-grade senior high school students participated in this nonequivalent control group quasiexperiment. During a one-week period, one group of students (n = 216) were taught by a teacher-centered CAI (TCCAI) model whereas the other group of students (n = 131) were subject to a student-centered CAI (SCCAI) method. Results showed that (a) no statistically significant difference on students' earth science achievement was found for either group; (b) TCCAI group had significantly better attitudes toward earth science than did the SCCAI group; furthermore (c) a significant PLE-treatment interaction was found on student attitudes toward the subject matter, where the teacher-centered instructional approach seemed to enhance more positive attitudes of less constructivist-oriented learning preferences students, whereas the student-centered method was more beneficial to more constructivist-oriented learning preferences students on their attitudes toward earth science in a computer-assisted learning environment.