CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

Developing A Computerized Distance Adult Learning System For A Library Paraprofessional "In-service Training" Course

Date of Award

1994

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Center for Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Marlyn Kemper Littman

Committee Member

John Kingsburry

Committee Member

Patricia B. Kistemacher

Committee Member

George K. Fornshell

Abstract

The problem that was investigated in this dissertation was the utility of the classroom-based in-service training program for the continuous training of library paraprofessional employees of the Miami-Dade Public Library System in Dade County, Florida. The lack of a continuous, well-organized in-service training program was revealed in the investigation. The rationale for the investigation was that a continuous distance education instructional delivery system would provide not only more consistency and organization to the annual, classroom-based training program, but also would provide additional opportunities for the in-service training of the library paraprofessional employees. The result of the investigation was the development of electronic bulletin board software into a distance education instructional delivery system. The system was designed to provide a continuous distance education in-service training course to the library paraprofessional employees of the Miami-Dade Public Library System. There were four phases in the dissertation plan. The first phase of the dissertation resulted in a literature review about the importance of ongoing training and instruction for the library paraprofessional employee. The second phase resulted in the expansion, updating, and adaptation of the existing paraprofessional curriculum of the Miami-Dade Public Library System into computer-assisted instructional modules for use in the planned computerized instructional delivery system. Although designed for use in a distance learning environment, these modules may also be used in a free-standing microcomputer environment.

The third phase resulted in a distance education system using microcomputer electronic bulletin board software that allowed the operation of the CAI software program outside the normal bulletin board operations of electronic mail and remote databases. Modified "mastery learning" procedures of Keller's "Personalized System of Instruction" are operational in the final dissertation product. Course presentation, assignment completion, electronic mail or conferencing including student/teacher interaction or peer-tutoring, self-testing procedures and computer file delivery are possible through the developed distance education system.

The fourth phase was the evaluation of the completed instructional delivery system and computer-aided instructional modules by a panel of experts (professional librarians). The evaluation results served as a confirmation of the dissertation product development's goals. The four phases provided opportunities in the combined areas of adult education, computer technology and information science.

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