University of Twente Student Theses


The influence of goal-specificity on main effects and interaction effects in a semi-complex system.

Teigler, M. (2015) The influence of goal-specificity on main effects and interaction effects in a semi-complex system.

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Abstract:This research investigated the influence of goal-specificity on student’s inquiry learning performance in an experimental classroom setting. Sixty-two junior high school students between the ages of 10 and 12 worked on the Plant Growing Task in an inquiry learning environment constructed with the program FILE. This task involved the manipulation of five independent variables which have different effects on the dependent variable ‘plant growth’. The participants were assigned to two experimental conditions, in which they either they received a non-specific goal that required them to find out how the five independent variables affect plant growth or the specific goal of achieving a particular outcome. Performance in both conditions was assessed by a written test; possible differences in strategy use, for different problem-solving strategies and rule-inducing strategies, were identified from log files. Results showed that students who received a non-specific goal acquired as much knowledge about the task as students who received a specific goal. Regarding strategy use, neither the hill-climbing strategy nor the history-cued strategy was observed in any of the participants. The control-of-variables strategy did occur, but its application did not differ across conditions. In addition, some students tried to reach their own goal which was to reach the highest possible outcome. The results suggest that neither students’ knowledge acquisition about an inquiry task nor their strategy use is affected by goal-specificity.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:81 education, teaching
Programme:Educational Science BSc (56613)
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