Computer-Assisted Instruction And Critical Thinking (CAIACT) developmental model
In spite of the efforts of the education and mathematics communities, the mathematics background of recent American high school graduates entering American colleges and universities is less than that of their counterparts in other countries and indeed less than that of their counterparts in the U.S. in the early 1960s. Some educators blame the problem on the gap between knowledge and analytical abilities and recommend that instruction should be in the manner of critical thinking. The invention of microcomputers in 1979 was a turning point in applications of computers, and it is believed among educators that microcomputers will play an important role in education and especially as a strong tutorial tool in the form of Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI). This study introduces a new approach by providing a new model that can be used to write educational courseware. The new model, Computer Assisted Instruction And Critical Thinking (CAIACT), uses the strengths of CAI and the skills of critical thinking. An example of how a CAIACT model can be used for teaching Mathematics of Finance is included in this study. The courseware was tested on a sample of 168 students. Statistical analyses were done to test the hypotheses that the courseware developed for Mathematics of Finance did not improve the performance of its users and that the users of courseware did not like using a computer for instruction. The technical aspects of the courseware were also analyzed. As a subsidiary objective this study asked whether students believed that CAI could eliminate possible discrimination by teachers on the basis of sex, race, citizenship, and age, assuming that the instructional material was not biased. The courseware improved significantly the performance of its users, they liked the use of CAI for instruction, they analyzed the courseware favorably, and they believed that CAI could eliminate possible discrimination by teachers.