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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Enhanced Learning on a Programmed Instruction Tutoring Systems for JAVA

Enhanced Learning on a Programmed Instruction Tutoring Systems for JAVA
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Author(s): Henry H. Emurian (University of Maryland Baltimore County, USA) and Ashley G. Durham (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, USA)
Copyright: 2002
Pages: 4
Source title: Issues & Trends of Information Technology Management in Contemporary Organizations
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-930708-39-6.ch052
ISBN13: 9781930708396
EISBN13: 9781466641358


Our previous research reported the classroom application of a web-based tutoring system for teaching a Java Applet, which is a computer program that runs in a browser, to information systems majors (Emurian & Durham, 2001). The tutoring system was based upon principles of programmed instruction that leads the learner, through a process of successive approximations, from understanding atomic elements of a program to mastery of a serial stream of Java items that constitute an error-free program. The research showed that experience with the tutoring system, together with subsequent classroom instruction, produced dependable improvements in students’ self-reports of confidence in the use of Java symbols. It was the case, however, that the students’ writing of an error-free Java Applet did not always carry over from the tutor itself to a later assessment occasion. In fact, only two of 12 learners were able to write the program correctly immediately after completing the tutor. This outcome was observed despite the fact that one error-free production of the program was required to exit the tutor. Although the tutor presented explanations of the code, together with multiple-choice tests of the meaning of individual items of code and rows of code, a more robust transfer of training was anticipated between the tutor and subsequent assessments of retention of the program. The present study intends to enhance student learning and retention of the Java Applet under consideration by using the previous study results as a baseline for comparison. This methodology to programmatic modifications and evaluations exemplifies systematic replication (Sidman, 1953), in which selected independent variables are adjusted to potentiate an effect that has practical rather than statistical significance. In the present study, the objective of the modifications is to improve all students’ performance across four assessment occasions during a semester-long course. This methodology also substantiates the generality of the prior findings, when the tutor is administered to a different group of learners, and it demonstrates the reliability of the previous learning effects, when observed under a somewhat different, but related, set of conditions.

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