To investigate the effectiveness of computer simulation versus laboratory experience, and the sequencing of instruction, in teaching logic circuits
The study investigated the effectiveness of computer-based simulation versus laboratory experience, and the sequencing of instruction, in teaching logic circuits. The two independent variables in this study were: (1) method of instruction, a nominal variable with two categories (computer-based simulation and laboratory experience); and (2) sequencing of instruction, a nominal variable with two categories (reading following lab or simulation experience and reading prior to lab or simulation experience). The dependent variable was the posttest score;A 2 x 2 factorial design was used in this study. The data were analyzed using the analysis of variance procedure. It was found that the sequence of instruction was an importance factor in teaching logic circuits. It was significant at the 0.001 alpha level. The students who did the activity (laboratory or computer simulation) first, followed by the reading assignment, scored significantly higher on the posttest as compared to those who received identical material in the opposite sequence. No significant difference was found between the two methods of instruction: laboratory or computer simulation. Also, there was no significant interaction between method of instruction and sequence of instruction;In order to gain greater insight into the students' cognitive process, the posttest items were classified into two categories: (1) knowledge, and (2) transfer. It was found that only the 'transfer' items contributed to the difference between the two sequential groups. The study concluded that exploratory type of experiential activity prior to formal instruction results in better conceptual learning and better transfer as compared to the reverse sequence.