Effects of computer-assisted instruction in macroeconomics education: an experimental course design.

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Haley, Mary
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Middle Tennessee State University
The primary purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of using computer-assisted tutorials and examinations as supplements to the basic lecture and discussion course in macroeconomics. Secondary considerations included college grade point averages, scores on the American College Test, and sex as possible determinants of student learning.
The research study was conducted at Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tennessee during the fall semester of 1990. Two sections of Principles of Macroeconomics were used with forty-one students participating. One section performed as the control group and the other section as the experimental group.
The computer-assisted instructional materials used were prepared to be used in conjunction with Economics, 11th edition by Campbell R. McConnell and Stanley L. Brue. Six graphics-based tutorials and seventeen exams were completed by students in the experimental group. Students received an on-screen evaluation of their performance showing the percent correct and page references for questions missed.
Effectiveness of computer-assisted instructional materials on macroeconomic understanding was measured by administering four instructor-generated examinations and the "Revised Test of Understanding in College Economics, Macro Form B" prepared by the Committee for a College-Level Test of Economic Understanding of the Joint Council on Economic Education which was used as both a pretest and a posttest. Secondary data were collected by administering a student questionnaire.
The Ordinary Least Squares Regression model was used to determine the relationship between the independent and dependent variables. The t-statistic was calculated and tested at the.05 and.01 levels of significance.
Results of the regression analysis showed no significant positive relationship between students' cognitive achievement in Principles of Macroeconomics and their use of computer-assisted instruction. The only independent variable that was consistently positively related to students' cognitive achievement in Principles of Macroeconomics was college grade point average. Males were shown to be superior to females in terms of cognitive achievement in macroeconomics.