The effects of computer-assisted instruction and locus of control upon preservice elementary teachers' acquisition of the integrated science process skills



The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of computer-assisted instruction (CAI) versus a text mode of programmed instruction (PI), and the cognitive style of locus of control, on preservice elementary teachers' achievement of the integrated science process skills. Eighty-one preservice elementary teachers in six sections of a science methods class were classified as internally or externally controlled. The sections were randomly assigned to receive instruction in the integrated science process skills via a microcomputer or printed text. The study used a pretest-posttest control group design. Before assessing main and interaction effects, analysis of covariance was used to adjust posttest scores using the pretest scores. Statistical analysis revealed that main effects were not significant. Additionally, no interaction effects between treatments and loci of control were demonstrated. The results suggest that printed PI and tutorial CAI are equally effective modes of instruction for teaching internally and externally oriented preservice elementary teachers the integrated science process skills.