Teacher and student attitudes toward microcomputer-based laboratories (MBLs) in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador

Swyer, W. Robert (1998) Teacher and student attitudes toward microcomputer-based laboratories (MBLs) in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The purpose of this thesis was to determine teacher and student attitudes toward Microcomputer-Based Laboratories (MBLs) in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. A sample consisting of 53 teachers and 59 students responded to survey instruments designed by the author. -- The teacher instrument consisted of three sections. Section A had 7 multiple-choice items and was used to determine the extent of MBL use by teachers. Section B was composed of 34 statements that teachers responded to using a 5-point Likert scale. Section C was used to collect personal information. -- The student instrument consisted of two sections. Section A was used to obtain some personal information from the students. Section B was composed of 30 statements that students responded to using a 5-point Likert scale. -- The following questions guided the research: 1. To what extent have teachers and students used MBLs? 2. What are teachers' and students' attitudes toward MBL equipment and software? 3. Do teachers and students believe that MBL techniques enhance student learning? 4. Do teachers and students believe that MBL techniques enhance their physics courses? 5. Do teachers and students think that MBL techniques have affected students' attitudes toward science and computers? 6. How do teachers and students think the MBL approach can be improved here in the province? 7. Have MBL techniques affected teacher attitude toward computers? -- The majority of teachers indicated that MBLs were used both by students and themselves to collect and analyze data. About 19% of teachers said that students used the MBL equipment and software on their own. A small percentage of teachers indicated that they only used MBLs in demonstrations with their classes. Most teachers used MBLs for 1/4 or less of the time they spent on labs. Approximately 21% of teachers were using MBLs between 1/4 and 1/2 of the time and about 17% of the teachers were using MBLs between 50% and 100% of the time they spent in the lab. Some teachers and students reported that MBLs have been used in other science courses. -- Results from teacher and student surveys on the 5-point Likert statements indicate that teachers and students alike have overall positive attitudes toward MBLs with respect to MBL equipment and software, enhancing student learning, enhancing their physics courses, and affecting students' attitudes toward science and computers. As well, teacher attitude toward computers was positively affected. Teachers and students share the opinions that more computers should be assigned specifically to science labs, and that additional MBL equipment should be provided for use in the science lab. Also, teachers and students believe that MBLs should be used at least four or five times a year, and students, in general, would like to see MBLs used more often.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1344
Item ID: 1344
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 80-86
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1998
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Education--Data processing; Laboratories--Study and teaching--Data processing; Science--Study and teaching--Data processing; Microcomputers

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