A Web-Based Tutor for Java: Evidence of Meaningful Learning

A Web-Based Tutor for Java: Evidence of Meaningful Learning

Henry H. Emurian (University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/jdet.2006040102
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Students in a graduate class and an undergraduate class in Information Systems completed a Web-based programmed instruction tutor that taught a simple Java applet as the first technical training exercise in a computer programming course. The tutor is a competency-based instructional system for individualized distance learning. When a student completes the tutor, the student has achieved a targeted level of understanding the code and has written the code correctly from memory. Before and after using the tutor in the present study, students completed a software self-efficacy questionnaire and a test of the application of general Java principles (far transfer of learning). After completing the tutor, students in both classes showed increases in software self-efficacy and in correct answers on the test of general principles. These findings contribute to the stream of formative evaluations of the tutoring system. They show the capacity of the Web-based tutor to generate meaningful learning (i.e., understanding of concepts) at the level of the individual student.

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