Title: Performance support system in higher engineering education – introduction and empirical validation

Authors: Slavi Stoyanov, Piet Kommers, Theo Bastiaens, Catalina Martinez Mediano

Addresses: Open University of the Netherlands, Educational Technology Expertise Centre, PO Box 2960, 6401 DL Heerlen, The Netherlands. ' Faculty of Behavioural Sciences, University of Twente, PO Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands. ' Institut fur Bildungswissenschaft und Medienforschung, FernUniversitat in Hagen, Lehrgebiet Mediendidaktik, Universitatsstr. 11/TGZ, D-58084 Hagen, Germany. ' Faculty of Education, National University of Distance Education, Madrid 28040, Spain

Abstract: The paper defines and empirically validates the concept of performance support system in higher engineering education. The validation of the concept is based upon two studies: a pilot and an experiment, on the effect of performance support system on achievements and attitudes of students. The experimental study confirmed the expectation that the performance support system produced significantly better results than the traditional method of teaching when achievements of students were compared. The analysis of the students| attitudes towards the method revealed that the operationalisation of support was better implemented in the performance support software application than performance.

Keywords: learning adaptation; higher education; engineering education; problem solving; performance support systems; student attitudes; student achievement.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCEELL.2008.019647

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning, 2008 Vol.18 No.4, pp.492 - 507

Published online: 18 Jul 2008 *

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