Mastering course content and learner satisfaction in early childhood education: A comparison of regular classroom instruction with three variations of internet delivery

James Johnsona, Richard Fienea, Jane Keata, Harriet Darlinga, Donald Prattb, Joyce Iutcovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In the spring semester 2000, a Penn State course, ECE 479 (The Young Child's Play as Educative Process), was taught by the same instructor in four delivery formats. One group consisted of a regular classroom, held on campus. A second group, also on campus, was taught in a computer lab via the Internet; and there were opportunities for interaction with peers and the instructor. A third group took the course on the Internet as part of a local distance education group; hence, there were some limited opportunities for face‐to‐face interaction with peers and the instructor. The fourth group took the course on the Internet, as part of a statewide distance education group, where there were no opportunities for face‐to‐face interaction. Twenty students who enrolled in the course (5 per group) completed questionnaires and phone interviews. Information was gathered on professional backgrounds, computer experience, and initial level of content knowledge on the topic of the ECE Internet course. Sixteen students who completed the course were interviewed again to evaluate satisfaction with the course and to estimate learning outcomes. Across the four conditions general satisfaction was expressed with the content, activities, and course requirements and with the teacher. However, students in the three computer groups expressed dissatisfaction over technical problems (all four who did not complete the course came from these computer groups). Significant gains in content knowledge occurred for the classroom group, while the learning in the three Internet‐based instruction groups did not show the same gains. Concern was expressed related to the lack of face‐to‐face interaction, making the learning environment less desirable. Although Internet technology provides a great deal of promise, these results suggest that improvements are needed to make this delivery modality more effective for in‐service distance learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-274
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Early Childhood Teacher Education
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

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childhood
instruction
Internet
classroom
education
Group
group education
instructor
interaction
group instruction
general conditions
student
distance learning
learning
semester
learning environment
questionnaire
lack
teacher
interview

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

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abstract = "In the spring semester 2000, a Penn State course, ECE 479 (The Young Child's Play as Educative Process), was taught by the same instructor in four delivery formats. One group consisted of a regular classroom, held on campus. A second group, also on campus, was taught in a computer lab via the Internet; and there were opportunities for interaction with peers and the instructor. A third group took the course on the Internet as part of a local distance education group; hence, there were some limited opportunities for face‐to‐face interaction with peers and the instructor. The fourth group took the course on the Internet, as part of a statewide distance education group, where there were no opportunities for face‐to‐face interaction. Twenty students who enrolled in the course (5 per group) completed questionnaires and phone interviews. Information was gathered on professional backgrounds, computer experience, and initial level of content knowledge on the topic of the ECE Internet course. Sixteen students who completed the course were interviewed again to evaluate satisfaction with the course and to estimate learning outcomes. Across the four conditions general satisfaction was expressed with the content, activities, and course requirements and with the teacher. However, students in the three computer groups expressed dissatisfaction over technical problems (all four who did not complete the course came from these computer groups). Significant gains in content knowledge occurred for the classroom group, while the learning in the three Internet‐based instruction groups did not show the same gains. Concern was expressed related to the lack of face‐to‐face interaction, making the learning environment less desirable. Although Internet technology provides a great deal of promise, these results suggest that improvements are needed to make this delivery modality more effective for in‐service distance learning.",
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Mastering course content and learner satisfaction in early childhood education : A comparison of regular classroom instruction with three variations of internet delivery. / Johnsona, James; Fienea, Richard; Keata, Jane; Darlinga, Harriet; Prattb, Donald; Iutcovich, Joyce.

In: Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, Vol. 22, No. 4, 01.01.2001, p. 267-274.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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