The effects of feedback in microcomputer courseware and learner locus-of-control on short-term recall and retention.

Nishikawa, Sue Sueko, Ph.D., University of Kansas, 1989.


This study examined the effects of Immediate Feedback (IFB), Delayed Feedback (DFB) and No Feedback (NFB) in instruction on short-term recall and retention and investigated whether learner locus of control (LOC) significantly interacts with the treatment conditions to affect performance. It was hypothesized that learners who attribute their successes and failures to events and actions under their control (Internals) perform best under DFB or NFB conditions while those who attribute successes and failures to events and action not under their control (Externals) perform best given IFB. The Intellectual Achievement Responsibility Questionnaire (IARQ) was administered to 102 Junior High School students to determine learner internal or external LOC. Treatment (independent variable) consisted of giving IFB, DFB and NFB in computer-assisted instruction (CAI) to both Internals and Externals. The test for short-term recall was administered after the instruction and a similar test for retention was administered a week later. Performance (dependent variable) on the tests by the two LOC (moderator variable) groups given the treatment was measured. Using a 2 x 3 factorial design (LOC x Feedback), a multivariate analysis was employed to test the hypotheses. The significant difference in performance between Internals and Externals was tested using the Scheffe post hoc method. While the results of the post hoc test indicated no significant differences on either performance measures or treatment condition, the Internals performed significantly better on short-term recall than Externals. The data analyses showed no other significant differences or interaction of LOC by treatment conditions. Further research extended over a complete study unit using a larger sample of students is warranted.

139 pages