Comparing the Effectiveness of Self-Learning Java Workshops with Traditional Classrooms

Kiran L. N. Eranki, Kannan M. Moudgalya, Educational Technology & Society, Oct 07, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

One of the longstanding criticisms of self-managed learning is that students are unable to generate the motivation or technique to accomplish their goals. This may be true in cases where traditional instruction is simply converted into online delivery, but well-designed instruction (as we have seen for decades in things like computer games) supports students quite well. This contention is confirmed by the present study, which evaluates the use of 'spoken tutorials' to teach the Java programming language. Researchers have been reporting on large-scale uses of this method for several years. In the current study, "the performance of college students who self-learned Java through the Spoken Tutorial method is found to be better than that of conventional learners." Audio cues and visual examples guide students through the tasks, where students actually perform the actions (for example, author lines of code) for themselves.

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