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Technology in the classroom: Examining the use of computer-assisted-instruction in a seventh grade social studies classroom

1 June 1998


The intent of this study is to examine the effectiveness of computer enhanced instruction in a seventh grade social studies classroom. Previous studies have shown that computers, when used appropriately, are positive additions to the classroom. Studies that focus mainly on CEI have shown it to be effective, but these have been conducted primarily at the university level. This study examines students' responses to the use of computer enhanced instruction in the classroom, by addressing three questions about the CEI learning environment: Do students appear to be attentive when CEI is used, do they feel positive about the CEI environment, and do they acquire content knowledge by participating in the CEI environment? Data for this study were collected through observations of students during computer enhanced instruction lessons, pre and posttests covering the content presented in the lessons, and a survey regarding students' opinion of the computer enhanced instruction lessons. These data suggest that computer enhanced instruction is an effective teaching tool that holds students' attention, gives students information, and is thought of positively by students who are exposed to it. Due to the relatively short period of time covered by this study, and a lack of access to a group of students previously exposed to CEI the novelty effect was unavoidable. Because of this, the generalizability of these findings are limited.


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