A comparative study of the effects of computer-based expository and discovery methods of instruction for fostering the aural recognition of musical concepts
Michael Thomas Hopkins, University of Michigan, United States
University of Michigan . Awarded
The problem of this study was to compare the effectiveness of computer-based expository and discovery methods of instruction for the aural recognition of selected musical concepts. The expository method was defined as an instructional sequence in which the definition of the concept to be learned was presented first, followed by examples and practice exercises. The discovery method was defined as a sequence in which examples of the concept were presented first, followed by practice exercises. In the discovery method the definition of the concept was the final step in the instructional sequence. Computer-based instructional software entitled Theme and Variations (TAV) was developed by the researcher to present the instructional material to all subjects. Two versions of TAV were developed: an expository (EM) version and a discovery (DM) version. TAV was designed for subjects to work individually with a computer.
A pilot study was conducted to identify the threats to the internal validity of the study and thus reduce or eliminate them prior to the main study. The subjects for the main study (n = 27) were drawn from undergraduate music theory and appreciation courses and randomly assigned to either the EM or DM treatment. The treatment consisted of three sessions. During session one, subjects were pretested using the researcher-developed Initial Learning Test (ILT), which had a corrected reliability of .91. During session two the subjects were administered the instructional treatment. At the end of session two the subjects were posttested using the ILT. Six weeks following the posttest the subjects were administered a retention test.
No significant differences were found between groups on the pretest (p = .16). Although the DM group spent more time than the EM group working with the software (p = .03), the groups did not differ significantly on total time spent in instruction (p = .19). No significant differences were found between treatment groups on the posttest or retention test. Both groups significantly improved from pretest to posttest and significantly declined from posttest to retention test (p < .01). The correlation between the DM subjects' verbalization scores and their scores on the ILT Posttest (r = .52, p = .04) and Retention Test (r = .62, p = .01) suggested a strong relationship between subjects' ability to define the concepts verbally and their ability to recognize aurally examples of the musical concepts.
Hopkins, M.T. A comparative study of the effects of computer-based expository and discovery methods of instruction for fostering the aural recognition of musical concepts. Ph.D. thesis, University of Michigan.
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