Attitudes of Under-Graduate Education Majors on Web-Enhanced and Traditional Instruction at Fayetteville State University

Article excerpt

This study examined the attitudes toward web-enhanced and traditional instruction of undergraduate education majors. The Instructional Strategies Instrument was administered to students enrolled in EDUC 310, Foundations of Education and EDUC 340, Human Growth and Development classes in the School of Education at Fayetteville State University. The participants consisted of 100 students and two university professors.

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In most recent years, the rapid increase to incorporate technology into the curriculum in institutions of higher education has led tenured professor's to question the effectiveness of traditional instruction. The use of technology or web-enhanced courses is up-and-coming as the most common method of instruction in most institutions of higher learning. However, this being the case, how does this impinge on professors who have not been trained to use technology in the classroom or who feel comfortable continuing proven effective traditional instructional methods ? There are certainly many challenges for faculty who are not technologically literate, as well as those who are.

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to investigate the attitudes of under-graduate education majors on the effectiveness of web-enhanced instructional strategies and traditional instructional strategies.

Review of Related Literature

Traditional instruction includes teaching strategies where students learn by listening to information presented by the professor, such as, lecturing, classroom discussions and recall instructional model, (Huitt 1999). According to Huitt, traditional instruction challenges the technology experts of education and shows that even the most at-risk student can excel, if only educators teach them. The success of traditional instruction has for years provided substantial evidence of its success. According to Huitt in 1999 the demand for traditional instruction method is likely to decline, while more advanced instructional strategies will increase. The research suggested that educators who integrate technology or other creative instructional methods into their learning environment will impact the lives of many and remain vital for years.

Traditional instruction is a method rich in structure and content, and is the most desired methods of instructional delivery for tenured university educators; however, this contradicts what is actually being taught to future educators in universities. Traditional instruction continues to bring remarkable success at low cost when it is implemented, (Schug et al. 2001). It has been suggested from university professors that face-to-face instruction was essential to students' learning and without it students suffer. (Schutte 1996). According to the author, lack of face-to-face interaction with the professor led to greater interaction between students and this collaboration resulted in higher student test results, (Schutte 1996).

According to Garson (1998) Schulman and Sims (1999), combining the traditional and on-line approach is probably most productive for those students whose communication skills were not up to par. Online instruction, according to Kubala (1998), is a form of individualized instruction. It requires regular contact between the student and the instructor for maximum learning to occur. Kubala found that students were more students were willing to participate in class discussions and other learning activities online when compared to the traditional mode of learning.

Methodology

Undergraduate students enrolled in EDUC-340 Human Growth and Development and EDUC 310 Foundations of Education classes participated in this study. The students in these courses were taught by two professors in the School of Education. One course was taught using face-to-face instructional strategies, while the other used web-enhanced instruction. …