Academic journal article Interdisciplinary Journal of e-Skills and Lifelong Learning

Assessing the Effectiveness of Web-Based Tutorials Using Pre- and Post-Test Measurements

Academic journal article Interdisciplinary Journal of e-Skills and Lifelong Learning

Assessing the Effectiveness of Web-Based Tutorials Using Pre- and Post-Test Measurements

Article excerpt

Introduction

The effectiveness of traditional teaching methods has been questioned as educators search for alternative ways of presenting material, engaging students, and improving academic performance (Jain, 2006). As a result of such enquiry, the use of computers and the Internet have become integral parts of student learning in today's classroom (Seal, Przasnyski, and Leon, 2010). Additionally, computers and the Internet have facilitated the development of Web-based tutorials for student learning and assessment across various disciplines (MacKinnon & Williams, 2006). Bliwise (2005) defines Web-based tutorials as "computerized demonstrations that are used for active learning exercises."

The use of Web-based tutorials has become acceptable as a complement to lectures as it improves students' level of understanding of materials (T. Mitchell, Chen, & Macredie, 2005) and allows learners to control the sequence and pace of the instructional materials (Bolliger & Supanakor, 2011). During the development stages of Web-based tutorials, Dawson (1998) argued that, "while the lectures provide content to make learning possible, tutorials are the major avenue to activate the learning process through preparatory reading and subsequent discussion." Other proponents suggest Web-based tutorials:

* provide students with interactive learning environments that appeal to different learning styles;

* allow students to have greater control over their learning;

* afford students the opportunity to learn at their convenience; and

* offer students the opportunity to gain knowledge through the use of audio, visual, and hands-on applications (Birch & Sankey, 2008; MacKinnon & Williams, 2006).

On the other hand, opponents argue that drawbacks to using Web-based tutorial include:

* lack of direct feedback;

* lack of discussion;

* lack of evidence to support learning; and

* lack of academic integrity among students (Garfield, 1995; Sweeney, O'Donoghue, & Whitehead, 2004).

Study Purpose

Despite considerable research on the outcomes of various teaching approaches at the tertiary level, there have been few investigations assessing student performance using Web-based tutorials. The current study addresses this deficit.

The current research study describes a pedagogical approach that exploits the use of self-paced, Web-based tutorials for assisting students with reviewing grammar and mechanics in a business communications course. The purpose of this study is to determine if the use of Web-based tutorials are beneficial to student learning. Specifically, the research examines the use of Web-based tutorials using pre- and post-test measurements. The following research questions guided this study:

1. Are there significant differences in pre-test and mid-term post-test scores for students using Web-based tutorials?

2. Are there significant differences in pre-test and final post-test scores for students using Web-based tutorials?

3. Are there significant differences in mid-term and final post-test scores for students using Web-based tutorials?

Literature Review

Experts in the field of performance assessment are actively debating whether students using Web-based tutorials perform equal to or better than students using more traditional methods of instruction. A review of literature reports on a number of primary research studies that have provided comparable data on student performance as well as student perception of Web-based tutorials. Despite the fact that the use of Web-based tutorials has gained momentum in recent years, a discussion examining the relationship between learning styles and instructional methods is warranted.

Relationship between Learning Styles and Web-Based Systems

Clark (1983) argued that the media (e.g., video, computer, or oral tradition) are merely vehicles that deliver instruction but do not influence student learning. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.