The role of analogies in discovering interactions in inquiry learning tasks: a comparison between students from low, middle and high level of secondary school

Dabbous, S. (2014) The role of analogies in discovering interactions in inquiry learning tasks: a comparison between students from low, middle and high level of secondary school.

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Abstract:The aim of this study was to investigate to which extent the uninstructed use of analogies fosters the discovery of finding interactions in concrete inquiry learning (IL) tasks. Participants were from three different academic secondary school levels, which engaged in a counterbalanced design, in two IL tasks where they could investigate the influence of five independent variables on a dependent one. The students from each level were divided over three conditions. The first is the single analogy condition, where students had to read a short analogy before performing the IL tasks. The students in the second conditions read two analogies before performing the same IL tasks. The used analogies share the same variable structure as the two IL tasks. And finally a control condition, where participants performed both tasks without an intervention. The cognitive ability of students was measured through a cognitive ability test (CAT), to investigate to which extent cognitive ability mediated students performances and to explore to which extent higher cognitive ability students benefit more from the analogy or analogies as an instructional approach. It was expected that the use of two analogies would result in more frequent discovery of the interaction effects and in higher learning outcomes than the use of a single analogy. In addition, it was expected that higher scores of the CAT will correlate with learning performances and mediate discovering the interactions in the IL tasks. Result showed that analogies foster the discovery of interaction effects to some extent. No differences were found between the use of a single analogy and the use of a double analogy. As expected, higher scores on the CAT correlated with IL performances, but higher cognitive ability students did not benefit more from the instructional approaches as was expected.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/64880
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