Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Comparing the Effectiveness of Self-Learning Java Workshops with Traditional Classrooms

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Comparing the Effectiveness of Self-Learning Java Workshops with Traditional Classrooms

Article excerpt

Introduction

This study looks at the effectiveness of the Spoken Tutorial methodology, developed to provide IT training through the self-learning route (Moudgalya, 2011). Although a large use case of it is reported by Moudgalya (2014) with feedback from 25,000 people, no controlled study of it lias been carried out so far. As this methodology lias the potential to provide computer literacy to a large number of people and thus improve their employment potential, it will be beneficial to understand its strengths and ways to improve it.

According to Moudgalya (2014), self-learning capability is the main reason for the widespread acceptance of Spoken Tutorials. Self-learning seeks to put the learner as much as possible in control of the learning process. This mode of learning involves behavioral motivation and meta-cognitive understanding of social perspectives through self-learning (Pintrich, 1999). Self-learners proactively seek out information when needed and prepare to master them. Self-learners use obstacles as opportunities to succeed (Zimmerman & Martinez-Pons, 1990). Students' perception of self-learning shows both a motive to learn and subsequent outcomes of effort to succeed (Schunk et al., 2012). Self-learners select learning strategies to achieve desired outcomes based on the feedback received from learning outcomes and levels of difficulty (Hiltz & Wellman, 1997). Socio-cognitive learning models proposed by Zimmerman (1989), Boekaerts et al., (2005) have shown that learners performed better through Self-learning approach. On the other hand, studies on classroom show that students fail to interact with teachers to clarify their doubts despite the opportunity due to low self-esteem, which may be because of instructor/parent-dependence and poor self-control (Sclunid et al., 2014). Othman et al. (2014) have found that the teaching method based on self-learning enhanced students' skill of using application software in computing environments. Moreover, based on these results, they suggest that instructors should help students regulate their learning by applying self-learning instructional methods in e-learning environments.

Studies in computing education have shown differences among male and female student perceptions and learning outcomes: males seem to find programming easier, showing higher intentions and higher learning outcomes than female students (Guzdial et al., 2014; Alvarado et al., 2014; Carter & Jenkins, 1999). Gender differences have also been noticed among Asian and Indian learners across all social and socio-economic groups with serious issues on parental control and education delivery systems (Arnold, 2015). The above research studies imply that learners benefit from self-learning approach, by engaging them into planning, monitoring, adaptability and evaluation phases of learning.

Almost all the studies on self-learning have been carried out in a classroom setting. In the Indian context, it is important to make the self-learning feature available through workshops also. To the best of our knowledge, workshop based self-learning approach lias not been studied for its effectiveness. In the current study, we use the Spoken Tutorial approach to train learners using self-learning workshops (Moudgalya, 2014).

Although a lot of papers have appeared on the Spoken Tutorial method, its effectiveness is not established through a rigorous study, which is one of the main contributions of this work. In addition to this, we also have identified self-learning characteristics of workshop and classroom learners through this study. We also study the effect of gender on self-learning.

Spoken Tutorial methodology

Spoken Tutorial project is an initiative of National Mission on education through Information and Communication Technology (NME-ICT), Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Govt of India (Sakshat, see http://www.sakshat.ac.in/). …

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