Loughborough University
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The effects of computer aided thinking (CAT) software on students' achievement and learning experience

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posted on 2010-11-12, 09:57 authored by Omar A. Omar
This study examined the effect of computer-aided thinking (CAT) on students' achievement and learning experience in studying a biochemistry1 unit. CAT offers different activities, tasks and questions according to the learner’s thinking style based on the mental self-government theory. The aim was to investigate the effectiveness of using CAT with the thinking styles feature on students' achievement and learning experience over computer aided instruction (CAI) without the thinking style feature when both teaching methods were used to replace the traditional chemistry instruction. A study was conducted to standardize the Sternberg-Wagner Self-Assessment Inventory of thinking styles for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) environment. The study showed that the thinking styles inventory was reliable and valid for use in identifying the thinking styles among a sample of UAE high school students. The development of the CAT system went through two phases. The goals of the first phase were to provide computer-aided learning material for two chemistry lessons, Oxygen and Ozone, to explore how students would respond to it with regard to their learning experience and to get feedback from the students to help build the CAT system which embeds the thinking style theory in the second development phase. Finally, an experiment was conducted using two randomly selected groups of students. One group studied the lessons using CAT and individuals were offered learning activities based on their thinking styles. The other group studied the lessons using CAT but without the thinking style feature. At the end of the experiment, quantitative and qualitative data were gathered and then analyzed. The results showed that learning with the CAT tool during the period of this experiment had significant effects on the experimental students' learning experience. This research is the first known study to explore the way that thinking styles can be used to sequence teaching material and activities for the purpose of individualized instructions. The research will inform UAE in helping teachers improve the learning process by conducting student-centred teaching.



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© Omar Ahmed Omar

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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