The Effect on Retention of Computer Assisted Instruction in Science Education

Article excerpt

The aim of this research is to determine the retention effect of Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) on students' academic achievement for teaching the Physics topics. The research includes the Force and Pressure units of 7th grade Science Lesson. In this research, 132 students were structured as both control and experiment groups. Traditional instruction (TI) method is used for control group while traditional instruction with teacher supervised CAI method is used for experiment group. Scientific subject test was applied as pre-test and post-test to both groups. 5 months latter, the Science Subject test was applied to both groups again. Significant differences between the Science Subject test scores of experiment and control group were found in favor of experiment group.

Keywords: Computer assisted instruction, Science Teaching, Retention


Instruction materials are among the assistant materials which teachers use them to make instruction more effective, lasting and enjoyable. Computers that are used as both a material and method and instructional materials are effective for making students concentrate on, understanding of, synthesizing and improving positive attitude towards the subject of the course. An instructional material makes the topic clearer and more lasting by making the topics that are abstract for students more concrete (Cepni et a1., 2004; Demirel, 2004). Therefore, the usage of visual instructional materials is so much important in the instruction of abstract concepts as being included in Science Lesson, understanding of the subject by students and improving positive attitude towards the course.

Nowadays, it is obvious that visual materials have been used in every field and technological devices, especially televisions and computers, have affected students. As a result of instructional materials that are supported by a variety of sound, image and animations are observed as more lasting, enjoyable and effective ones. Learning is resulted from seeing in %83, hearing in %11, smelling in %3,5, touching in %1,5 and tasting in % 1 (Demirel, 2004). Learning is resulted from seeing %75, hearing %13, smelling %6, touching %3 and tasting %3 (Kucukahmet,


There are experimental evidences that only oral explanation method doesn't work well. If principles of how students learn are taken into account, richness of the visual content makes instruction more lasting and effective (Mayer, 2003).

According to Cilenti and Kinder, in a fixed time, learning is gained by reading in %10, hearing in %20, seeing in %30, both seeing and hearing %50, telling %70 and doing and telling %90 (Simsek, 2002; Demirel, 2004; Yalin, 2006). This shows that visual materials supported by audio and animations are more effective on students' learning, perception and synthesizing

More sense organs deal with learning, faster and better instruction occurs. Instruction is so lasting. The best learning is doing and living oneself (Kucukahmet, 2001; Demirel, 2004).

For these reasons, we have to develop scientific lessons as the ones that are supported by visual and audio instructional materials to draw students' attention and so provide lasting learning, reflect science nature and accelerate learning.

The main purpose of the educational research is to find how to form a learning climate to provide lasting and upper level learning with a less expense and try in a shorter time (Yigit & Akdeniz; 2003). Using computers in classrooms is among the recent popular topics and ratio of Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) and the use of computers in classroom are common and becoming widespread.

Lifestyles of people affect their learning styles and even determine how they learn and develop them. Therefore, provisions of educational and instructional materials having more visual content is necessary in order to teach to the person of this time who lives visually and are in the bombardment of visual knowledge (Cepni et al. …