Multiple embodiment instructional sequence using the computer as the interfacing agent in the instruction of volume of rectangular solids
Johnson, Ruth Mary Regling
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This study measured the effect of two multiple embodiment instructional sequences on the topic of volume of rectangular solids upon student achievement. Instructional sequences investigated were (1) the sequence with computer, (2) the same sequence without computer ; and a textbook-based sequence. Independent variables were sequence, ability level, and gender. Dependent variables were scores on post-instruction and post-retention criterion-referenced tests. Test items were divided into these categories: knowledge and comprehension, application and analysis, and total test. A pretest determined all sequence groups were equal before instruction. The four-week study was conducted in 21 southwestern Montana classrooms. Classes were randomly assigned to the sequences. Classroom teachers conducted all instruction and testing activities. Post-instruction test was administered after one week of instruction; post-retention test after three weeks of retention activities, one activity each week. Factorial analysis of scores established the following conclusion. Both multiple embodiment sequences were superior to the textbook sequence except for application and analysis post-instruction scores. The highest achievement was among high ability groups; the lowest achievement was among low ability. Males outperformed females on knowledge and comprehension questions; females outperformed males on the computer sequence; and on both tests, males and females demonstrated equal achievement on application and analysis and total test scores. Two trends were noted: (1) students in the embodiment sequence without computer produced higher scores post-instruction, but students in the computer embodiment sequence scored higher post-retention, and (2) low ability students in the computer sequence scored lower than their counterparts in the other sequences. The following recommendations were made concerning instruction of volume of rectangular solids. Carefully sequenced multiple embodiment instruction should be used. Use of the computer should be considered in embodiment instruction. Assumption that male achievement is superior to female achievement in this area should not be made. Instruction on this topic should be reinforced over time and should include multiple embodiments.