Cognitive Approaches to Understanding the Challenge of Computer-Based Learning

Cognitive Approaches to Understanding the Challenge of Computer-Based Learning

Jocelyn M. Wishart (University of Bristol, UK)
Copyright: © 2005 |Pages: 5
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-555-9.ch035
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Abstract

Increased motivation amongst pupils has been readily observed in schools when they are allowed to use computers and other forms of information and communications technology (ICT) (Cox, 1997; Denning, 1997; Wishart & Blease, 1999). In fact, Denning reports almost universal enthusiasm amongst students for the use of ICT to support their work in schools. Many psychologists (Light, 1997; Loftus & Loftus, 1983) have used behaviourist theories originating from the work of Thorndike (1898) to describe positive extrinsic reinforcements generated by or associated with the computer software. For instance, children find the use of a computer rewarding; they get nearly immediate feedback from the programs on their efforts, which often include entertaining sound effects, graphics, and animations. Therefore, they are more likely to take up opportunities to use ICT in and outside of lessons. What is more, as described by Loftus and Loftus, these rewards arrive in the variable-ratio schedule of reinforcement, which Skinner (1938) believes is the most compelling.

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