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Measuring effects of guided questioning support on inquiry performance in ZAPs

Post, Tim (2009) Measuring effects of guided questioning support on inquiry performance in ZAPs.

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Abstract:An innovation in the field of software-based instruction are ZAPs: short and interactive computer programs, intended to encourage learners to experience and learn about psychological phenomena in an active, self-explanatory and motivational manner. A number of studies shows that inquiry learning involves many different cognitive processes that need to occur simultaneously on different levels. It is therefore perhaps not surprising that many learners experience difficulty when engaged in tasks of inquiry. In this empirical study, the effect of guided questioning support in ZAPs is measured to examine learners’ improvement in inquiry performance. Two research questions are examined: (1) how does guided questioning affect learners in their use of inquiry strategies during learning performance, and (2) how the use of those strategies affect different types of knowledge constructions in ZAPs? An experiment was conducted in which inquiry performance was examined by comparing one group of learners who used guided questioning support while working with ZAPs, to two control groups who worked with the same ZAPs from which this “question-based” scaffold was either partly or fully removed. Improved inquiry learning performance was expected for learners who were allowed to work with the complete guided questioning support. Results show that guided questioning support seems to significantly impair learning performance in ZAPs and that learners are skeptical of its usefulness. It is discussed that learners are unfamiliar with guided questioning and need specialized prior instruction to familiarize themselves with utilizing questions as effective strategies for inquiry. Although results in this study show a negative relation between guided questioning support and inquiry performance, additional follow-up studies are required to fully explore and understand the extend to which guided questioning affects inquiry learning in different settings, learning tasks, and learning environments. Further research on guided questioning and the underlying inquiry learning framework used in ZAPs, could shed new light on the value of guided questioning and ZAPs as innovative learning tools in educational practices.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Educational Science and Technology MSc (60023)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/60558
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