An Evaluation of Teaching Methods Based on Cognitive Achievement

Ryan P. Siebenmorgan, Don Wayne Edgar, Vinson R. Carter, Donald M. Johnson


The purpose of this study was to determine if there were significant differences in cognitive achievement between different instructional techniques used with students enrolled in high school agricultural science classes. Lesson content covered the production, uses, and performance of biodiesel fuels in compression engines. Treatments were different instructional techniques including lecture, demonstration, and a combination of lecture and demonstration. Cognitive achievement was measured on low level cognition and high level cognition. In addition, this study sought to find any correlation between student perceptions of lecture versus demonstration and tinkering self-efficacy on student achievement. An experimental pretestposttest design was used to conduct the study. A sample population included 27 classes (N = 333). Nine classes were used per treatment. The subjects were taught using one of the three treatments based on random selection. Each subject received a pretest prior to the lesson and then a posttest following the treatment. Student perceptions of tinkering self-efficacy and perceptions of demonstration and lecture were collected for every subject. Data collected for this study revealed no significant difference across instructional techniques on knowledge acquisition. However, when comparing treatments and cognitive achievement, there was a significant difference between the combination technique and the lecture technique on high cognitive achievement. There was not a significant difference on students’ cognitive achievement on low level cognition. There was not a significant correlation between student perceptions (preference) of instructional technique and knowledge acquisition. Nor was there a significant correlation between student perceptions of tinkering self-efficacy and knowledge acquisition. There was a significant correlation between tinkering self-efficacy and student preference of instructional technique.


Teaching; Methods; Alternative Energy; Secondary; Students

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