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Known facts or plausible conjectures: Comparing two types of support for learning with computer simulations

Sickers, A.C. (2013) Known facts or plausible conjectures: Comparing two types of support for learning with computer simulations.

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Abstract:Aim of this study was to examine the relative effectiveness of offering hypotheses and domain information during inquiry learning. Domain information contained ‘known facts’ about the variables students had to investigate whereas hypotheses offered ideas, either correct or incorrect, students could test. The study was conducted with 67 undergraduate students who worked on an inquiry task about an unknown topic. Students were randomly assigned to a condition in which they were supported by hypotheses (n=26), by domain information (n=23) or received no support at all (n=18). Learning and performance in all three conditions were then evaluated and compared. It was assumed that offering pre-specified hypotheses would lead participants to use a theory-driven method of investigation. It was also assumed that students in the hypothesis condition would gather more knowledge than participants in both other conditions. Both hypotheses were partly supported by the results. Data indicated that participants receiving hypotheses information used a theory-driven method of investigation. It could however not be proven that offering pre-specified hypotheses leads to higher knowledge gains than offering domain information. However, the difference of both conditions to the control group was significant.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/63335
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