A pilot study on the development and evaluation of an interactive computer-based training (CBT) module.

Lourens, S. & Weideman, M.

Proceedings of the 7th Annual Conference on WWW Applications. 29-31 August. Cape Town, South Africa.

Lourens, S. & Weideman, M., 2005. A pilot study on the development and evaluation of an interactive computer-based training (CBT) module. Proceedings of the 7th Annual Conference on WWW Applications. 29-31 August. Cape Town, South Africa. Online: http://web-visibility.co.za/website-visibility-digital-library-seo/

ABSTRACT
The main objective of this study is to prove whether or not an interactive multimedia computer-based training (CBT) module will help learners understand learning material better. The secondary objective is to measure if learners will show a positive attitude towards CBT in the COBOL programming language in a Development Software 1 programme. A relatively large number of learners fail DOS1 each year and it is increasingly apparent that it would be prudent to supplement the learning experiences of these learners. Research has shown that learners using interactive multimedia material can have a learning advantage over learners receiving classroom-based education. However, little research has been done in the teaching of programming languages. The methods employed in this study include the development of a Macromedia Flash CBT module that supports various animations, and the evaluation of the module’s effectiveness as a method for introducing learners to COBOL. Furthermore, the effects of CBT on learners’ attitude were evaluated. Summative evaluation was used in an online pre-test/post-test approach to determine the effectiveness of the module. After completion of the module, a formative approach was used and the experimental group was asked to complete an online questionnaire for evaluation of the module and their attitude towards it. Preliminary results seem to indicate that the even though the experimental group (who made use of the CBT module) has obtained a higher mean gain score than the control group (who received traditional classroom-based instruction), it proved to be insignificant. Gain scores between the two groups did not indicate any significant improvement however; it appears as if CBT education has a positive effect on learners’ attitudes. The conclusion of this study is that CBT did not show a significant improvement in learner performance, but lead to heightened motivation in teaching the COBOL programming language.
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