The Hewlett-Packard HP-41CV Hand-Held Computer as a Medium for Teaching Mathematics to Fire Control Systems Repairers
Final rept. Jan-Jun 1984
ARMY RESEARCH INST FOR THE BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES ALEXANDRIA VA
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A comparison was conducted between the performance of two groups of 30 fire control systems repairers after completing the mathematics part of the 45G10 course. The evaluation was designed by one of the cooperating military agencies, and the authors analyzed the resulting data. One group of repair personnel used the Hewlett-Packard HP-41CV hand-held computer in training. The other group recieved conventional training, without computers. The difference between the two groups performance on an end-of-training mastery test was not statistically significant. Flaws in the evaluation design prevented determining whether the findings of no difference between the groups performance was due to the kinds of training computer and conventional or to 1 Differences between entry-level mastery of course material by the two groups. 2 Different amounts of training by the two groups. 3 An end-of-course test which was not difficult to reveal proficiency differences between the two groups. Several recommendations were made for designing and conducting future evaluations. The main recommendations were that 1 Test scores for untrained persons be obtained, against which the scores of trained people can be compared. 2Records be kept of the amounts of practice by each member of the compared groups. 3 End-of-course tests be difficult enough to reveal differences between good and mediocre performances. An experimental design was presented for future use which uses a no-training control-group, separates the effects of amount and kind of training, and is likely to detect proficiency differences.
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