A Comparative Study of Cognitive and Affective Outputs of Students with Computer Prior-Knowledge (CPK) and Students without Computer Prior-Knowledge in Their Computer Studies

Lockias Chitanana, Musingarabwi Starlin, Maeresera Jones


The study sought to establish the kind of computer prior knowledge (CPK) students in a teacher training college
possessed before enrolling with college. It also analyzed the differences in students’ cognitive and affective
outputs in their computer studies between students with CPK and those without it. Participants were 168 students
from a teachers’ college (males = 63; females = 105; average age = 31; SD =6, 74). Data were collected using a
structured survey questionnaire. Data were analyzed statistically using SPSS to determine differences in
students’ perceived computer self–efficacy (CSE) and academic performance in their computer studies between
the two groups. Almost half the students were computer illiterate before joining college. A majority of students
with CPK had little experience in using the computers prior to joining college while very few had computer
qualification. Most of the students with CPK possessed basic computer hardware and software skills and a few
others, higher order computer skills. The computer CSE of students without CPK compared badly with that of
students with CPK. Both the groups of students experienced difficulties in learning advanced computer skills.
Students with CPK displayed better performance in computers than students without it in a statistically
significant manner. Hence results of this study confirm the importance of computer prior knowledge. This has
implications on policy for running computer courses with respect to grouping students, effecting differentiated
instruction and strategies for dealing with students’ learning difficulties in the higher learning institution.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/jedp.v1n1p95

Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology   ISSN 1927-0526 (Print)   ISSN 1927-0534 (Online)

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