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Relation of outcomes to differences in teacher control and coercion

Background:  It doesn't matter how effective software is if it isn't used.  Much of the structured study material available on CD-ROMs or via the Internet implicitly assumes that learners are self-motivated and will of their own volition plod through the software from beginning to end.

It could well be, however, that a large percentage of the world's language learners work better in a teacher-controlled mode and need to be guided and perhaps even coerced to do "what is good for them".

Research question: Assuming that the target software is effective, what difference is there in the outcome under different modes and levels of teacher control and coercion?

Suggested methodology/comments:  Controlled experiments need to be carried out with various populations, for example, a) intact classes of EFL students in the public schools, b) in university classes when the course is an elective, as well as c) when it is a requirement, d) in ELI classes where the students can be expected to be highly motivated, etc.

With each population, multiple classes need to conducted with one of a number of possible levels of control, including a) only recommending that the software be used, b) requiring that the software be used but having a final examination being the only check, c) requiring that the software be used with weekly feedback to the students on how well they have (or have not) been doing, d) required access with regular quizzes on the contents, etc.

Contact:  Thomas Robb   trobb@cc.kyoto-su.ac.jp

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