CEC Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (DISS)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Ling Wang

Committee Member

Marlyn Littman

Committee Member

Glyn Gowing

Abstract

An analysis of data from the Community College Survey of Student Engagement and multiyear analysis of pretest/posttest scores in introductory criminal justice courses revealed there was a systemic decline in student engagement and achievement. Because of this analysis, a commercial virtual learning tool (CJI) that purported great success in improving student engagement and performance was identified and implemented on the college's course management application in the spring of 2010. CJI, a comprehensive learning tool that incorporated Web 2.0 activities, such as video, simulations, and study aids, was designed to improve student engagement and performance. The inclusion of Web 2.0 activities was important because the majority of students at Herkimer County Community College are of the Millennial generation, those born between 1979 and 1994.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the design and implementation of a VLT, utilizing multiple intelligence theory while specifically targeting Millennial students could improve student engagement and achievement. For this study, the VLT was implemented in two hybrid sections and compared to a traditional section of an introductory criminal justice class. The quasi-experimental design examined the effectiveness of a VLT on student learning, and engagement. Based on the results, the VLT had a positive effect on students' perception of ease of use and usefulness. The students' positive perception led to an increase in student engagement the testing period. The results of the testing revealed that overall students found the VLT beneficial to them as a learning tool and had a positive impact on their course performance. While the VLT did not improve student performance beyond that of the traditional lecture course, there were positive implications in the design of the VLT utilizing multiple intelligence theory as a foundation.

The implications of this study involved the impact of the VLT on students' perception of usefulness and ease of use. A VLT designed with multiple intelligence learning tools can improve student engagement and their perception of the tools usefulness and ease of use. It is clear that VLTs' designed with multiple intelligence learning tools should be incorporated as a tool to improve student performance.

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