University of Twente Student Theses


Detecting minimal differences in the observation of evidence in inquiry learning

Richtering, Carolin (2010) Detecting minimal differences in the observation of evidence in inquiry learning.

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Abstract:Evidence evaluation is one key skill in inquiry learning. Chinn and Malhotra (2002) found however, that evidence evaluation can be severely impeded because learners have problems at making good observations. This is especially the case when the evidence is ambiguous. The present study investigates why the observation of evidence is impeded and thereby draws on existent knowledge and methods from psychophysiology research. An inquiry specific task is set up where minimal temporal differences can be manipulated. It is assessed whether a difference between the observation of minimal differences in the visual and auditory modality exists and whether cross-modal interaction effects and (the strength of) prior beliefs influence performance. The results show that typical psychophysical results could be replicated. Attending to auditory stimuli or both auditory and visual stimuli yielded threshold values of about 80 ms. Attending to visual stimuli only resulted in a slightly better performance, especially at small temporal differences. This was not expected from research and might be explained by the inquiry specific characteristics of the visual stimuli. No cross-modal interaction effects were found. Prior beliefs biased results in such a way that a correct predictions led to better observations whereas incorrect predictions had no effect. Being more certain intensified this effect. Suggestions for supporting learners in observing evidence are given.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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