An Evaluation of Computer-Based Instruction in Microbiology
There has been a tremendous increase in the availability of computer-based instructional (CBI) materials. Some studies have shown an improvement in learning when CBI is used. However, many researchers believe the current studies are inadequate. While CBI software should be thoroughly tested by developers, as educators, we should be concerned about whether or not the CBI materials we use are improving learning in our classrooms with our students. We present an evaluation of a computer-based hypermedia tutorial that was delivered over our General Microbiology website. We found that CBI was at least as effective as text-based material. However, of all students who used CBI, only those who explored most of the site benefited from using the site. Tracking each student’s use of the CBI was critical for understanding who was learning and why.
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