This research is the best example of comparison of two articles: “The Effect of Computer Mediated Conferencing and Computer Assisted Instruction on Student Learning Outcomes” and “The use of Digital Technologies in the Classroom: A Teaching and Learning Perspective”…
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After explaining what constructivism entails, with reference to the Soviet Russian psychologist Vygotsky, (1978) the authors summarise some recent research on student performance and how it is affected by email contact with instructors. They concluded that “findings related to the effectiveness of learning through the use of email appear to be mixed, though there are slightly more studies showing the use of email can improve learning.” (Cain and Pitrie, 2008, p. 33) One declared aim of the Cain and Petrie Study is therefore to explore this further. Another aim is to look at use of technologies like the internet and various inter-active media, and determine how the use of Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) contributes to and enhances learning. The literature on this area is cited as being more uniformly positive about the effects of CAI. An important feature of this article is its clear definition of the two main area to be studied, namely “ 1) The frequency of use of online collaboration (i.e. email, threaded discussion, or relay chat) and whether collaboration contributes significantly to student outcomes and 2) The frequency of use of computer assisted instruction (i.e. computer and Internet) and its contribution to student outcomes. This is a good approach, which sets the limits of the research to collecting frequency of very specific actions, rather than any vague qualitative impressions. At the outset it is clear that the frequency information is likely to produce hard data which can be measured and compared, while the contribution to student outcomes is much more difficult to measure, and therefore tricky to assess. A...
This essay analyses the two articles, and this is followed by a comparison of the two, evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of their respective methodological approaches. The first article “The Effect of Computer Mediated Conferencing and Computer Assisted Instruction on Student Learning Outcomes” is published in the Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks which states on its website that it “adheres to traditional standards of double-blind peer review and authors are encouraged to provide quantitative data.” This assurance gives the reader confidence that original fieldwork with clear data will be provided, and that a checking procedure has been carried out to ensure that the paper meets proper academic and stylistic standards. The website also indicates a potential bias in favour of Asynchronous Learning Networks, as opposed to other forms of learning, since it states: “The original objective of the Journal was to establish ALN as a field by publishing articles by reliable and authoritative sources...” The second article “The use of Digital Technologies in the Classroom: A Teaching and Learning Perspective” was published in the Journal of Marketing Education which claims on its website to be “the leading peer-reviewed, international scholarly journal publishing articles on the latest techniques in marketing education, emphasizing new course content and effective teaching methods.” This statement gives a reassurance that quality checks are carried out by peers before any articles are published, and it shows also an emphasis on practical matters, such as techniques and teaching methods, rather than theoretical ideas.
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