CCE Theses and Dissertations

Cooperative Learning Vs The Lecture Method of Instruction At The Postsecondary Level: Outcomes Concerning Student's Anxiety, Attitude, And Achievement In Computer Classes

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Center for Computer and Information Sciences


John Kingsburry

Committee Member

Gerorge K. Fornshell

Committee Member

Dennis Guster

Committee Member

Edward Lieblein


Educators, parents, and concerned citizens have always taken a special interest in education and the outcomes thereof.This interest, however, started mushrooming in the 1960s (Keefe, 1987; Sharan, 1990). During this time research centered on various instructional methods. Much of this research tended to use cooperative learning as an instructional method. David and Roger Johnson and Robert Slavin have been very active in cooperative learning research and its implementation. For the most part, cooperative learning research has been directed toward the elementary and secondary levels of education. These studies have shown positive results regarding student achievement, race, and social relationships, mainstreaming, and other positive student reactions.

The major purpose of this study was to investigate cooperative learning as an instructional strategy at the college level. Measurements were made involving achievement, computer anxiety, attitude toward Computer Science, and the relationship between a student's field independent/dependent nature and achievement, Attitude was measured using the Purdue Master Attitude Scale, while anxiety was measured using the Test Attitude Inventory-Worry Scale. Achievement was measured from the scores on written tests, performance tests, and quizzes. Lastly, field independence was calculated from the score that each student obtained on the Group Embedded Figures Test.

The subjects consisted of students enrolled in two general education classes and two database software classes. Anxiety, attitude, and the student's field independent or field dependent nature played no role in a student's overall achievement in any of the classes. The general education students taught via cooperative learning had statistically higher achievements than did the students who were taught using the lecture method of instruction. The achievements of the students in the database classes, were slightly higher in the class taught using cooperative learning. However, the differences in achievement between the two classes could not be substantiated statistically.

The conclusions, findings and recommendations for further research are presented. in summary, cooperative learning helped general education students in overall achievement, while at the same time it did not adversely affect the vast majority of the other students.

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