'n Model van faktore wat die sukses van onderrigleer van tegnologie–gebaseerde onderwerpe beinvloed
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There appear to be groups of students who experience more problems with the mastering of technology-based subjects (where technology is used, but is not the main subject of the study) than other (non-technology-based) subjects. A study was therefore conducted to identify factors that influence the success of education in technology-based subjects. Existing research points to specific factors that figure strongly in the success of the learning of technology-based subjects. In existing research these factors are, however, viewed in isolation and are not always evaluated empirically. In the research on which this article is based the influence of various factors is investigated, compared and empirically evaluated together. The objective of the study was to develop a model of the factors that influence learning success in technology-based subjects. In this research project methods from different research paradigms were used in different phases of the project. Since there was no clarity about the factors to be investigated, the interpretative methods were initially used to identify factors by means of interviews and open questions. These results were analysed by means of coding. After a model of possible factors was compiled in this way, methods from the positivistic paradigm were applied. Questionnaires were compiled to test the model and the results of these questionnaires were statistically analysed. The study was undertaken at the Potchefstroom campus of North-West University. The purpose of the literature study was to investigate existing publications on factors influencing a student’s success in mastering technology-based subjects. The most important factors highlighted in the literature are gender, language, race or culture, prior knowledge or entry level, socio-economic status, learning styles, computer anxiety, the student’s confidence in his or her own abilities, and the student’s vision of the future. After the literature study had been concluded, interviews were conducted. The results of the interviews were used to expand the model and also to identify specific questions to be included in the questionnaires. While processing the interview results, various important factors became evident, namely prior knowledge, planning/time management, computer anxiety, secondary school level and language. The purpose of these questionnaires was to identify additional factors that may influence learning of technology-based subjects by means of open questions. Furthermore, the relevance of factors already identified was investigated. The open questions in the questionnaires were processed interpretatively. From the answers to the open questions it was deduced that the interest of students may have an influence on the success of learning. Another factor mentioned was the student’s intellectual abilities. Factors already included in the model, but of which the importance was once again emphasised here, were self-confidence, prior knowledge, time management and language. After data had been collected by means of questionnaires, biographical data and examination marks, a large number of variables were available for use to test the relationships in the model. First of all, factor analysis was done to determine which variables measured the same factor, in order to reduce the number of variables.