University of Twente Student Theses


Modeling across domains

Doepel, T. (2012) Modeling across domains.

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Abstract:The differences between experts’ and students’ cognitive reasoning processes during a computer-based modeling task were researched in this study. A sample consisting of 11 students and 4 experts was used to determine the differences in reasoning processes between the two groups. Their task was to model the biological processes of photosynthesis and dissimilation within the computer software SCY-Dynamics. Data were collected from the log files of the program and the audio recordings of a think-aloud technique. The qualitative results were judged by comparing them to a pre-established standard and comparing the auditive statements of the two groups against each other. The quantitative results of the experiment were analyzed using the Mann-Whitney-U test to compare the models and reasoning processes of the participants against each other. No significant differences have been found by analyzing the quantitative results of the experiment, but the qualitative results show that there is an advantage of the experts over the students, especially on the reasoning process of Orientation. In conclusion it can be stated that experts approach a modeling task more efficiently, as they orient themselves more thoroughly. While unguided inquiry learning is an efficient method and computer-based modeling is an efficient tool, which should both receive further research, this study shows that experts are still a valuable addition to scientific learning, as they have gathered an extensive amount of knowledge in their specific domain that helps them to deal with complex models more efficiently. This advantage enables them to help students and shows the need for them in the learning environment. There is a need for future research on this topic with bigger sample groups to verify these findings and to look for additional similarities and differences between the two groups.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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