This study examined the effect of computer-aided thinking (CAT) on students'
achievement and learning experience in studying a biochemistry1 unit. CAT offers
different activities, tasks and questions according to the learner’s thinking style based
on the mental self-government theory. The aim was to investigate the effectiveness of
using CAT with the thinking styles feature on students' achievement and learning
experience over computer aided instruction (CAI) without the thinking style feature
when both teaching methods were used to replace the traditional chemistry
A study was conducted to standardize the Sternberg-Wagner Self-Assessment
Inventory of thinking styles for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) environment. The
study showed that the thinking styles inventory was reliable and valid for use in
identifying the thinking styles among a sample of UAE high school students.
The development of the CAT system went through two phases. The goals of the first
phase were to provide computer-aided learning material for two chemistry lessons,
Oxygen and Ozone, to explore how students would respond to it with regard to their
learning experience and to get feedback from the students to help build the CAT
system which embeds the thinking style theory in the second development phase.
Finally, an experiment was conducted using two randomly selected groups of
students. One group studied the lessons using CAT and individuals were offered
learning activities based on their thinking styles. The other group studied the lessons
using CAT but without the thinking style feature.
At the end of the experiment, quantitative and qualitative data were gathered and then
analyzed. The results showed that learning with the CAT tool during the period of
this experiment had significant effects on the experimental students' learning
experience. This research is the first known study to explore the way that thinking
styles can be used to sequence teaching material and activities for the purpose of
individualized instructions. The research will inform UAE in helping teachers
improve the learning process by conducting student-centred teaching.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.