Page: 45-52 Author: Mazurek, J. Key words: computer based instruction, ICT, learning outcomes, pedagogical experiment
The goal of this article is to present the results of a pedagogical experiment carried out in the first half of the year 2009 at four gymnasiums (general academic high schools) in the Northern Moravia region: in Orlová, Karviná, Třinec and the Wichterle gymnasium in Ostrava. The research sample included 336 pupils from 12 classes. The aim of the experiment was to compare the learning outcomes of computer-based instruction with traditional frontal instruction of physics on the subject of phase changes. This research problem was tackled by a pedagogical experiment involving two groups of pupils - an experimental group learned via computer-based instruction, while a control group via frontal teaching with the same teacher and for the same number of lessons. At the beginning and at the end of the expe-riment the pupils‘ knowledge was examined by a didactic test with 24 closed items. Pupils‘ attitudes towards both instruction methods were examined by a questionnaire based on Likert‘s scale with seven degrees.
The research revealed that differences in the increase in pupils‘ knowledge of the subject of phase changes, retention of this knowledge and attitudes towards the instruction metho d between the two groups were not statistically significant. The research also revealed a high variability of learning outcomes within schools and also large differences between individual schools. The results of girls and boys in the experimental group were almost identical, and the same applies to their attitudes. Boys (somewhat surprisingly) did not prefer computer-based instruction to any statistically significant degree. The pupils in both groups evaluated the instruction of physics (in the categories of how dar it was fun, how far it stimulated interest in the subject, and how easy it was to learn), neutrally to mildly p ositi-vely. The software itself was recommended by pupils and teachers as a suitable complement to phase change isntruction and is accessible from Internet for free.