Effects of Web-based Cognitive Apprenticeship and Time Management on the Development of Computing Skills in Cloud Classroom: A Quasi-Experimental Approach

Effects of Web-based Cognitive Apprenticeship and Time Management on the Development of Computing Skills in Cloud Classroom: A Quasi-Experimental Approach

Hsiao-Chi Wu (Ming Chuan University, Taipei, Taiwan), Pei-Di Shen (Teacher Education Center, Ming Chuan University, Taipei, Taiwan), Yi-Fen Chen (Chung Yuan Christian University, Taoyuan City, Taiwan) and Chia-Wen Tsai (Department of Information Management, Ming Chuan University, Taipei, Taiwan)
DOI: 10.4018/IJICTE.2016070101
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Web-based learning is generally a solitary process without teachers' on-the-spot assistance. In this study, a quasi-experiment was conducted to explore the effects of various combinations of Web-Based Cognitive Apprenticeship (WBCA) and Time Management (TM) on the development of students' computing skills. Three class cohorts of 124 freshmen in a one-semester course titled ‘Applied Information Technology: Data Processing' were chosen for the empirical study. They were divided into three groups: two experimental groups (G1, n=42; G2, n=40) and one control group (G3, n=42). The goal of this research is to examine the effects of WBCA, TM, and their combination on undergraduates' learning, and further develop appropriate course design and online teaching methods for both teachers and schools. The results show that students who received WBCA and TM had higher grades than those without. The authors further discuss the implications of the findings and results for online teachers and scholars.
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1. Introduction

To carry out reforms in education, improvement in teacher instruction, classroom practices, and student learning were regarded as the intended goals for professional development program (Paik, Zhang, Lundeberg, Eberhardt, Shin & Zhang, 2011). However, implementing educational innovations is more complex than the straightforward execution of policy prescriptions (Märza & Kelchtermansa, 2013). As many educators have integrated technology into teaching by making the curriculum more interactive and engaging (Lin & Overbaugh, 2013), online learning has become a common learning activity in the education domain (Tsai, Liang, Hou & Tsai, 2012). Educational institutions have the duty to instruct students’ learning process, skills, and provide prior knowledge, since those skills are amenable to improvement through instruction (Argelagós & Pifarré, 2012). In this study, the researchers redesigned a computing course, and adopt combined training of web-based cognitive apprenticeship (WBCA) and Time Management (TM) to develop students’ computing skills for using Microsoft Word, and pass a certificate examination.

In a world with rapidly changing technologies, computing skills can be regarded as a core ability that all graduates should have. Some research has revealed that students’ use of technology such as computers could enhance their learning success and promote academic outcomes (Carle, Jaffee & Miller, 2009; Pemberton, Borrego & Cohen, 2006; Waks & Sabag, 2004). Computing and information competency instruction has a significant impact on student success (Moore, Brewster, Dorroh, & Moreau, 2002). Thus, computing education is emphasized for students of all levels and disciplines in Taiwan. In many universities and vocational schools, students are required to take four to six computer courses before they graduate.

Computing certification is playing a leading role in the development of application and professional competence certifications, and is helping drive work towards technology literacy and Internet computing (Lin & Overbaugh, 2013). The certifications are nationally or internationally standardized as they provide a unique measure of computer skills (Vakhitova & Bollinger, 2006). Therefore, helping students improve their computing skills and pass the examination for certificates is the main concern of many computing course teachers in Taiwan (Tsai, 2010a). Many universities and vocational schools even reward teachers who help students pass the examination for certificates.

In recent years, it has been found that the demand of changing social reality as well as keeping up with changing technological demands requires students’ development of computing skills (Chiang, 2013; Hayhoe & Zha 2005; Tsai, 2010b). However, the computing education in Taiwan is not as effective or practical as the workplace needs. For example, many teachers require students to memorize the operation process instead of knowing how, why and when to use the functions. When we review and reflect on the educational process, it can be found that there is a gap between learning theory at school and practical work requirements. Education should start with theory or practice and integrate it well (Korthagen & Kessels, 1999). This is also true in online learning environments.

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