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

Teaching Java: Applications of Programmed Instruction and Collaborative Peer Tutoring

Teaching Java: Applications of Programmed Instruction and Collaborative Peer Tutoring
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Author(s): Henry H. Emurian (UMBC, USA)
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 3
Source title: Emerging Trends and Challenges in Information Technology Management
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-019-6.ch110
ISBN13: 9781616921286
EISBN13: 9781466665361


Our previous research (Emurian, 2005; 2006) showed that students who completed a Java tutoring system, which taught a simple ten-line Applet program to display a text string in a browser window, learned general rules of Java programming that could be applied to answer questions on problems not explicitly presented in the tutor text itself. These findings supported the value of the tutor to produce meaningful learning (Mayer, 2002) or far transfer of learning (Barnett & Ceci, 2002). The research methodology is similar to design-based research (Design-Based Research Collective, 2003; Hoadley, 2004) in that instructional design effectiveness was assessed iteratively over several successive semesters within the context of the classroom. To potentiate the outcomes associated with our students’ use of the tutoring system, collaborative peer tutoring was considered as an additional tactic to facilitate learning. Collaborative peer tutoring is a social situation in which students teach, coach, and/or evaluate each other within groups of two or more students. This social dimension may enhance motivation to learn and may provide the occasion for mutual elaboration of the understanding of simple facts and concepts to exceed what might be accomplished by solitary study (Rittschof & Griffin, 2001; Slavin, 1996). The potential benefits of peer collaboration when applied to learning computer programming have been explored in the learning of recursive programming using LISP-LOGO (Jehng, 1997), and in a pair programming laboratory for introductory Java (Williams et al., 2002). Among the variants of collaborative peer tutoring paradigms, this study adopts interteaching (Boyce & Hineline, 2002), operationalized by having two students engage in a face-to-face dialog to discuss questions previously given to them. The research reported here is based upon two successive offerings of an elective course entitled Graphical User Interface Systems Using Java. The first class, offered during the summer of 2004, consisted of master’s degree students, and the second class, offered during the fall of 2004, consisted of advanced undergraduate students.

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