Evaluation of a Logo computer curriculum for upper level elementary school students
With the proliferation of computers in the elementary schools, evaluation of computer curricula has become increasingly important. One of the purposes of this study was to test a causal model that attempted to identify factors related to upper elementary school students' attitudes and performance using the computer programming language Logo. Factors considered included student entry characteristics, attitudes toward the computer experience, subjective and objective measures of achievement, as well as sex and grade. A secondary area of emphasis was the effect of sex on attitudes, experiences and performance using the Logo language. The model was operationalized using measures derived from three questionnaires and an objective test administered to students enrolled in classes in three schools were Logo was implemented;Results of this study lent empirical support to several of the hypothesized causal linkages in the model and the initial 34 indicator path model was reduced to 24 indicators. Performance on the objective test was directly related to the combined influence of entry characteristics, post-Logo attitudes and perceptions and self-evaluation which accounted for 28 percent of the variance. The contribution of sex and grade was not supported. One of the best predictors of performance on the bivariate and multivariate level was total mathematics score on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills which increased explained variation to 39 percent despite a reduced sample size. Self-evaluation of Logo competencies was explained by the combined influence of entry characteristics and post-Logo attitudes and behaviors, which collectively accounted for 50 percent of the variance. Explanation of post-Logo attitudes and perceptions and entry characteristics were generally weak;While no differences were found between males and females on either performance measure, the study lent some support to the hypothesis of sex differences. Males tended to have more computer experience prior to Logo and their attitudes toward computers, attitudes and perceptions of the Logo experience and self-evaluation of performance were generally more positive;This was an initial attempt to identify and test factors that influence attitudes toward and performance with Logo. Future study is needed to refine the model.