The effect of computer use and Logo instruction on third and fourth grade students' perceived control

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

In this study, the effect of computer use and Logo instruction on students' perceived control of computers and generalized perceived control was examined. Third and fourth grade students (N=90) in four intact groups, consisting of one treatment and one control group for each grade level, were pre- and posttested, using the computer control survey (CCS) and the Chi1dren's Nowicki-Strickland Locus of Control Scale (CNS-IE). A posttest measure of Logo achievement was obtained from the treatment students.

Three way analyses of covariance, using the pretest scores as the covariate, were used to test for differences between the means of the independent variables group, grade, and gender for the dependent measures CCS and CNS-IE. Comparisons of adjusted posttest scores on these variables indicated that no significant differences existed between the groups. A linear association was found between Logo achievement and the children's perceived control of computers. Selected reliable items from the CNS-IE correlated with Logo achievement, although the full 40-item instrument did not.

It is suggested that Logo instruction leading to Logo programming experiences may not produce in the children a sense of perceived power concerning the computer, nor lead to generalized LOC differences. Future researchers in this domain are advised to control for the internality of the sample and for the children's prior computer experience. Attention to the age/cognitive level of the sample, and length of treatment are suggested.