ISSN-2231 0495

Teachers’ adequacy in using Computer Assisted Learning in the Classroom

Teachers’ adequacy in using Computer Assisted Learning in the Classroom

Rakesh Kumar

Assistant Professor

M. V. COLLEGE OF EDUCATION,

University of Delhi.

Abstract

There had been a number of studies that show the importance of using computers in the classroom. But whether or not the teachers will use it on their own is related to comfortability of using it. The present study tries to analyse the responses of teachers in this regard. The focal area in this study relate to pre-service teachers’ perceptions about their adequacy in using computers in the classroom. The analysis is based on the responses received from the sample of 37 science teachers on the issue – “How  comfortable  do  you  feel  in  using  computers  in  the  classroom?”. Written responses and semi-structured interviews forms the basis of analysis. The analysis is done in two parts. The first part of this analysis is related with the comfortability and the second part is related with their views about why they think it is important for them to use computers in classrooms. It is also important to mention that the second part had just emerged out of their responses and was not elicited. The present study is descriptive one and contributes towards developing an understanding on the issue of application of computers in the classroom situations. Almost all of the pre-service teachers’ who gave a clear response, were found to be comfortable in using computers in the classroom. This would indicate that the young population joining the teaching community is ready for using computers in the classroom in terms of their comfortability. Pre-service teachers’ are found to be motivated in using computers in the classroom for different reasons. Some of the reasons cited were related to the ability of computers in creating interest amongst the learners, their ability in being more expressive, take immediate feedback from the learners, assist children with special needs, developing creative environment, bringing back the learner’s attention to classroom tasks, creating opportunities for individualised work and the ability to deal the insight into three-dimensional modelling. Some teachers have warned about this use of computers in social networking and gaming and some possible indiscipline in the classroom.  There are some issues raised like non-availability of computer assisted infrastructure in the classroom.

 

1. Context and Background:

There had been a number of studies that show the importance of using computers in the classroom. But whether or not the teachers will use it on their own is related to comfortability of using it. The present study tries to analyse the responses of teachers in this regard. The focal area in this study relate to pre-service teachers’ perceptions about their adequacy in using computers in the classroom. The analysis is based on the responses received from the sample of 37 (out of which 30 could contribute to total data collection) science teachers on the issue – “How  comfortable  do  you  feel  in  using  computers  in  the  classroom?”. Written and responses and semi-structured interviews forms the basis of analysis. The analysis is done in two parts. The first part of this analysis is related with the comfortability and the second part is related with their views about why they think it is important for them to use computers in classrooms. It is important to mention that the second part had just emerged out of their responses and was not elicited. The present study is descriptive one and contributes towards developing an understanding on the issue of application of computers in classroom situations.

Even if Computer-Assisted Learning is emerging as being more effective than traditional classroom teaching, learners’ and teachers’ approach is an important consideration for introducing Computer Assisted Learning in school settings. Let us see what related studies show in this area.

(Chanlin, 2006) investigates the factors that influence teachers’ use of technology in creative and effective teaching-learning process. The study identified four factors namely environmental, personal, social and curricular factors. The findings depict that not only creative teaching-learning environment and personal factors influenced the integration of computer technology but also social and curricular factors surrounding teaching-learning issue.  (Demetriadis, 2003) the Greek secondary school teachers' attitude towards the introduction of ICT in the curriculum was presented by the researchers and it shows teachers are interested in using ICT to attain a better professional profile only to take advantage of any possible learning benefits offered by ICT but always within the context of the school culture.

(Vale, Gilah, & Leder, 2004) investigates gendered views of computer-based mathematics among junior secondary learners. The qualitative data that were gathered showed that girls and boys held similar views about the use of computers in mathematics. However, girls were more likely than boys to give responses about whether computers would help and enhance their performance in mathematics or not. Boys more often viewed using computers in mathematics as a source of pleasure and a way of making mathematics relevant.  For boys, computers as a source of success in mathematics or enhancement to their performance were more indirect relationships and concerned changing the ways of learning. Year level was a factor in attitudes to computer-based mathematics, suggesting that the length of time using computers in mathematics, the nature of the learning environment or the mathematics curriculum also impact on learners' views. Girls who rate themselves highly in achievement in computing are more likely to have a positive attitude to computer-based mathematics. Whilst this was also the case for boys, boys who aspired to achieve at high levels in computing were also more likely to be positive about the use of computers in mathematics. The study suggests that teachers of mathematics in the middle years of schooling need to be aware of the balance that they need to achieve in meeting the needs of both boys and girls.

(Dhume, Pattanshetti, Kamble, & Prasad, 2012) indicates that teachers' reflection on their practices might result in increased awareness of their own practices, shared planning and evaluation of the teaching-learning-learning process created an appropriate context for teachers' professional learning.   The study argues that teachers need personal experience with the use of information and communication technologies if the use of information and communication technologies if they are to make them an essential component of the learning environment).

(B.H.H. & Manickam, 2002) studied attitudes of teachers and correlates for Computer Assisted Instruction. The Findings show: (1) there was no significant difference on the teacher competency in the pre and post scores or between the experimental and control group. But teacher competency was positively related to post knowledge in CAI of the experimental group. (2) There was significant difference between the groups in their attitude towards computer education. As a result of training in Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI), the attitude of the experimental group became more favourable towards computer education. (3) There was correlation between age and attitude towards use of computer. (4) There was significant difference in the pre and post scores of the experimental group on knowledge in CAI and attitude towards use of computer.

(Medhi & Toyama, 2007) presents the use of full-context video to motivate and aid non-literate, first-time users of PCs to successfully navigate a computer application with minimal assistance. Following previous work focused on non-literate users, the study observed that in spite of our subjects' understanding of the UI mechanics, they experienced barriers beyond illiteracy in interacting with the computer: Lack of awareness of what the PC could deliver, fear and mistrust of the technology, and lack of comprehension about how information relevant to them was embedded in the PC.

The study by (Gopal, 2011) reflects on the status of the use of computers in teacher education. This study highlights that in the field of education, computers have become an important metaphor to denote technology in the classroom. Keeping this in mind, most teacher education institutes in India have introduced a course in Computers in Education, but due to the paucity of time in the academic year, many teacher education institutes briefly cover the aspects of technology education in their classroom. As an intervention, this study discussed adapting an Interactive Video Based Self Learning Module on Open Office Impress in the Dimensions of the Cognitive Apprenticeship Framework. The results of the study showed that this material augmented the Pre-service teachers' technology skills in directly using, applying and learning technology (Gopal, 2011).

(Ronen, 1993) describes the designing and using of an open graphic interface called RAY, for instruction in geometrical optics. The RAY program offers a learning and a problem solving environment in which the learner can actively provide his/her own feedback without any kind of hesitation. However, a problem witnessed with this program is that learners cannot make a distinction between the representations of physical entities (light rays) and a geometrical construction (for instance, the continuation of a ray behind the mirror) since both are represented in a ray diagram by lines. A research conducted on its effectiveness reveals that it can indeed contribute to overcoming some learning difficulties, which learners have.

The study of (Wegerif, 1998) outlines, illustrates and evaluates a distinctive approach to the use of computers within the primary curriculum. The results of the evaluation show (a) that the quality of interaction around computers can be improved by off-computer coaching in exploratory talk and (b) that the approach to design is effective in stimulating talk which supports curriculum learning. The researchers argue that this framework is not limited to citizenship and science but could, in principle, be applied across the curriculum.

(Das, 2003) assessed the attitude of learners and teachers towards computer education, infrastructure facilities in the schools and gender disparities in computer science in both Government and private secondary schools of Assam. The Findings suggest: (1) Learners have a positive attitude and outlook, towards computer education received in their respective schools. Some learners have suggested a revamping of the traditional modes of teaching by introducing computers in teaching which they think will make their education more exciting and interesting. (2) Teachers are confident about their knowledge of the subject; they are not devoid of anxiety. Majority of the learners teachers have recognized the important role that computers play in today's society. (3) The English medium learners were found to display higher level of confidence, a sense of competence in their approach to and use of computers than the Assamese medium learners. (4) In spite of funding and all other infrastructural facilities provided by the North Eastern Council in a collaborative venture with the Board of Secondary Education Assam, nothing fruitful or lasting evolved from the course of computer education imparted to the learners of government schools. (51 Girls have a positive attitude towards computers as being more user-friendly and express less anxiety about the use of computers.)

(Grant, 2005) evaluates the findings of one school experience with using mobile laptop carts, or computers on wheels (COWs) to effect change in teacher practice and learner learning. The learners identified electronic presentations: writing 'stories'; graphing things like an ordered pair’s lesson in mathematics; using draw/paint to create an original flower in science. The study emphasized three factors as indicators for change in impacting technology integration: teacher technological knowledge and efficacy; pedagogical knowledge and a supportive community.

 Research Methodology

 Research Questions and Objective

The following questions are focussed:

  • Do the pre-service teachers feel comfortable in using computers in the classroom?
  • How do the pre-service teachers relate to Computer Assisted Learning with the classroom settings?

The study has focused on the following objectives:

  • To find out if the pre-service teachers feel comfortable in using computers in the classroom or not.
  • To understand pre-service teachers perception about the relationship of computer-assisted learning in their classroom settings.

 Methodology, sample and tools:

38 Pre-Service science teachers who are the B.Ed. students of the two of Education in Delhi, India) were chosen as convenient samples for the study. Most of the observations, interpretations, analysis and reflections done by the participants were discussed with them also to develop their insight about their own science classrooms. These 38 prospective science teachers of the two colleges (MV College of Education and GRD College of Education in Delhi) who were chosen as samples for the study have henceforth been addressed as science teachers. These science teachers were also a connection to reach to the science learners in the schools. Thus an input from the science classrooms was available to the teachers during their school life experience program. All types of schools were allotted to these science teachers during their school life experience program.

Written responses and semi-structured interviews were used on the 38 pre-service teachers. But the data from 30 pre-service science teachers was collected. 8 Pre-service teachers became non-responding. All types of schools were allotted to these science teachers during their school life experience program as described later. Training of teachers was done for both data collection (one day) and analysis (three days). In addition, two days were devoted for reflection and discussion on resolution of the problems faced during the process.

Total 38 Pre-Service Science teachers that participated were from two B.Ed. colleges of University of Delhi and GGSIP University, Delhi. This “ensured participation of total 18 schools in which above Pre-Service teachers had their School Life Experience Program. These teachers had diverse graduation and post-graduation subjects.

 

Figure 1 - Classification of teachers’ sample

figure_1 


Figure 2 - Classification of School sample

39_figure_2
Figure 3
39_figure_3

Notations: G- Government; P- Private; G.A.-Government Aided; K.V.-Kendriya Vidyalaya

 

Figure 3: Teachers’ adequacy in using Computer Assisted Learning

Out of total 38 Pre-Service teachers, code numbers 1.01 to code number 1.30 were given to 30 Pre-service teachers from Guru Ram Dass College of Education and 8 Pre-Service teachers from Maharishi Valmiki College of Education received code numbers 2.01 to code number 2.08. Clearly, the sample is not a random sample but a purposive one. Although no deliberate attempt was made for the sample to be homogeneous or representative, it got addressed in the process to some extent. The science teachers belonged to different socio-economic backgrounds. The science learners’ belonged to different sorts of school settings. These types of schools included all boys’ school, all girls’ schools, government, government aided and public schools. Therefore, we can say that different socio-economic backgrounds and diversity in teaching-learning settings has been represented largely in the sample.

 Analysis Part 1

Comfortable

Out of 30 Teachers -

  • 12 were very comfortable in using computer while teaching.
  • 2 were not that comfortable in using computers in teaching.
  • Rest 16 teachers have not given their clear point of view about their adequacy in using computers as part of their teaching strategies.

 Analysis Part 2

Some more descriptions given by teachers

  • Computers can create interest among the learners and we can also explain some difficult concepts such as formation of waves, impact of collisions etc. using computer simulators. Although there are many benefits of computer but there should be a healthy and proper use of computer in teaching i.e. no social networking or gaming while teaching
  • Strength of learners is quite more and it generally takes much time in adjusting the learners and setting the computer because there was no facility of computers in classrooms and every time we have to move to computer laboratory. So it generally creates disturbance in such schools where there is no multimedia facility in classrooms.
  • Computers in the classroom include digital technology used to enhance, supplement,     or     replace     a      traditional      educational      curriculum. As computers have become more accessible, inexpensive, and powerful, the demand for this technology has increased. They fulfil the needs of teaching materials and are more expressive.
  • Computers allow learners with disabilities to become independent and hand in legible assignments, as well as provide learners with vast information. This is very comfortable to use, as compared to the rigorous and old methods of teaching. Computers help in developing the interests of learners in a particular subject.
  • By using computer we can decrease the overburden of learners’ stress & reduce many functions of teachers. Computers help teacher to make immediate feedback & responses to the learners. If develops creative environment in the classroom & independent learning to the learners.
  • The use of audio visual aids, images and in addition to its various interesting clips helps a teacher in bringing the attention and interest of learners to the topic.
  • To begin with, it might be difficult to maintain discipline but with the passage of time it will improve. With technological advancement, the teaching methods are also changing accordingly. Teachers in the modern classroom stand to benefit from integrating computer technology into their curriculum as learners can work through computer based activities at their own pace. Rather than 25 individuals working together on one activity, technology allows independent completion of work. Those who begin to fall behind can receive an instructor’s individualized attention while others can begin to tackle more complex tasks. So, using computers in the classroom has proved to be a more effective method of teaching. Therefore, everyone should have the knowledge of computer & must feel comfortable in using computers in their classroom.
  • Computers can allow learners to communicate with other learners, from other schools and improve professional communication skills. Learners with disabilities or illegible writing can use computers and therefore they can submit neat and legible assignments. Computers offer access to a wide variety of information, on a multitude of topics. Using computers in primary schools allow learners to acquire skills that will be necessary in later life.
  • We use computers to develop a presentation in a simple and effective manner.
  • They just use simple Microsoft paint tool and made a presentation on Microsoft Word. I was surprised to see the presentation. This shows that learners are interested in using computers to communicate their ideas and views so that they are easily grasped and understood.
  • Computer is quite helpful in classroom as through this we can give learners a three dimensional model which is not easy to show in real classroom, some chemistry experiments, physics experiments and some other experiments which are cannot be easily performed.

Conclusions

(Tanner, 1992) assesses the extent to which IT skills are used or developed within mathematics in Britain and examines factors, which are limiting development. The results of an action study project shows that beginners with computer software often need support in the classroom in the early stages; lack of access to computers is a problem for many mathematics teachers; and the integration of computer based lessons  into  schemes  of  work  facilitates  forward  planning  and  thus  access  to hardware. As per a survey conducted by the Apeejay Stya Educational Research Foundation (ASERF), it was found that unlike most other subject/domains of learning, infrastructure for a successful ICT programme requires intensive maintenance and management at all times, not just in terms of hardware components, but also Operating System software, application software tools, networking, internet bandwidth & content-filtering, antivirus management, power equipment, security (for both equipment and data) etc. This requires a perfect synthesis between teachers, administrators, hardware/software/power vendors. Many a times, a small snag in the system brings the entire ICT programme to a halt. The present study reveals that almost all of the pre-service teachers who gave a clear response, were found to be comfortable in using computers in the classroom. This would indicate that the young population joining the teaching community is ready for using computers in the classroom in terms of their comfortability. Pre-service teachers are found to be motivated in using computers in the classroom for different reasons. Some of the reasons cited were related to the ability of computers in creating interest amongst the learners, their ability in being more expressive, take immediate feedback from learners, assist children with special needs, developing creative environment, bringing back the learner’s attention to classroom tasks, creating opportunities for individualised work and the ability to deal the insight into three-dimensional modelling. Some teachers have warned about this use of computers in social networking and gaming and some possible indiscipline the classroom.  There are some issues raised like non-availability of computer assisted infrastructure in the classroom.

References:

  • B.H.H., J., & Manickam, L. (2002). Computer Assisted Instruction: Attitudes of Teachers and Correlates. In INDIAN EDUACATIONAL ABSTRACTS v.3, no. 2, July 2003 (pp 28-29) (Vol. 18, pp. 235–242).
  • Chanlin, L. J. (2006). Factors influencing technology integration in teaching: perspectives. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 43(1 SRC - GoogleScholar), 57–68.
  • Das. (2003). Computer Education in the Secondary schools of Assam. Indian Educational Abstracts, 3(July 2003), 28.
  • Demetriadis, S. (2003). Cultures in negotiation": Teachers’ acceptance/resistance attitudes considering the infusion of technology into schools. Computers and Education, 41(1 SRC - GoogleScholar), 19–37.
  • (pp. 1–10). Retrieved from http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6208609&isnumber=6208589
  • (pp. 183–190). http://doi.org/10.1109/T4E.2011.36
  • Grant, M. M. (2005). Computers on wheels: An alternative to “each one has one”. British Journal of Educational Technology, , ., 36(6 SRC - GoogleScholar), 1017–1034.
  • (pp. 1–9). Retrieved from http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=4937400&isnumber=4937385
  • Ronen, M. (1993). To see or not to see: The eye in geometrical optics - when and how? Physics Education, 28(4 SRC - GoogleScholar), 52–59.
  • Tanner, H. (1992). Developing the use of IT within mathematics through action research. Computers and Education, 18(1-3), 143–148.
  • Vale, C. M., Gilah, C., & Leder, G. C. (2004). Student views of computer-based mathematics in the middle years: Does gender make a difference? Educational Studies in Mathematics, 56(2), 2–3 SRC – GoogleScholar.
  • Wegerif, R. (1998). Software design to support discussion in the primary curriculum. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 14(3 SRC - GoogleScholar), 199–211.

 

 

 

Login Form

Notice Board