CCE Theses and Dissertations


Effectiveness of Computer Assisted Instruction in the High School Chemistry Lab

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Computer Education


Center for Computer and Information Sciences


This study was conducted to determine the use of computer assisted instruction in the high school chemistry lab. The author used the data and information gathered to focus attention on computer use in the science classroom and determined the need for this focus by surveying the science teachers at the study site. The author concluded from the survey 25 percent of the teachers used computer assisted instruction (CAl) frequently, 25 percent used CAl occasionally and 50 percent did not use CAl at all.

The two sets of software user in the study for the basis of the development of the computer assisted labs were Chem Lab Evaluation written by Everett Kirshner for Edu Tech Company and. Temperature Plotter software and computer interfaced lab packs by Vernier Software Company. The author evaluated both sets of software using the software evaluation form from the Software Evaluation Exchange Dissemination (SEED).

The students participating in this study were the author's two Academic Chemistry classes. The academic level is the middle of the three chemistry levels taught at the study site. Each class consisted of 14 juniors placed in the classes because of scheduling procedures used at the study site.

The author instructed each class in 87 minute lab periods once a week over a two month period and covered the same lab material with both classes. However, the experimental group used the computer assisted instructed labs and the control group used the traditionally taught labs.

An experimental posttest only design was used in this study and, upon completion of the two month lab instruction period, a posttest taken from the Chem Lab Evaluation software was administered to each group under- normal classroom conditions. There was no significant difference between posttest means. However, the computer assisted instruction group took less time to solve the lab activities.

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