While previous studies and meta analyses have primarily focused on the comparative efficacy of computer assisted instruction (CAI) versus traditional instruction, there have been relatively fewer examples of research exploring how various teaching formats of CAI influence student science learning outcomes in the secondary classroom. In this paper this issue is addressed by comparing teacher-directed CAI (TDCAI) and student-controlled CAI (SCCAI) in a compulsory earth science course in a secondary school in Taiwan. Data collection instruments included the Earth Science Achievement Test and the Attitudes Toward Earth Science Inventory. A multivariate analysis of covariance suggested that TDCAI students had significantly higher score gains than SCCAI students on the set of achievement and attitude measures. It is therefore suggested that TDCAI-based instruction is an alternative in teaching basic science concepts in the secondary classroom.
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