University of Twente Student Theses


Learning by modelling: A study of individual differences

Horst, Kirsten ter (2014) Learning by modelling: A study of individual differences.

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Abstract:Modelling is a useful cognitive skill that is becoming increasingly important in many domains, especially in science. Learning by creating computer models actively engages students in their knowledge construction and offers students the possibility to test their acquired understanding. In practice, however, novice modellers experience several difficulties, whereby learning gains often fail to show. This study investigated whether self-explanations can overcome these difficulties and enhance student’s domain knowledge and the quality of their models. High school students (n= 34) were asked to perform a modelling task that required them to construct a coherent model of the effects of alcohol consumption on the human body. During the entire modelling task students were asked to think aloud. Students were post hoc classified as either high self-explainers, i.e., students that generated a minimum of 11 self-explanations; n= 24, or low self-explainers, i.e., students that generated less than 11 self-explanations; n= 10. The main results were derived from between-group analysis of knowledge gain scores and model performance scores. The between group analyses concerning knowledge gain scores showed that there were significant differences between high and low self-explainers in favour of the former. However, no student constructed a model that reflected a complete understanding of the alcohol processes, and differences between high and low self-explainers in model performance scores failed to show.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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