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Abstract Title: Investigating reasons for why self-paced interactive electronic learning tutorials express a challenge for engaging students
Abstract: While the use of self-paced learning tools has increased with the advent and maturing of technology, their effectiveness is sometimes limited because students do not engage with them as intended. We conducted a study to investigate a cost-effective and easy to implement intervention to help motivate students to engage with self-paced, interactive, electronic tutorials more deeply. Students in an introductory physics course used tutorials designed to adapt to their prior knowledge and independently scaffold their learning by providing individualized guidance to help them navigate through the solutions of context-rich problems. The problems were broken down into multiple choice questions and students received feedback when answering each question designed to help them build up correct understanding. Since struggling is a stepping stone to learning, we investigated the extent to which requiring students to struggle with the context-rich problem before navigating through the tutorial affected their learning from the tutorial as measured by their performance on a transfer problem. Thus, one group was required to attempt the tutorial problem first (referred to as the RQ group), while the other group was not required (NRQ group) to attempt the problem before working on the tutorial. We found that students in the RQ group were more likely spend more time struggling with the tutorial problem before moving on to the tutorial for one of the two tutorials investigated and they also required fewer attempts to correctly answer the transfer problem. This suggests that requiring students to struggle with the tutorial may motivate them to work harder which can result in improved learning.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session I
Poster Number: A104

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Edana Wilke
University of Cincinnati
Department of Physics
Cincinnati, OH 45221
and Co-Presenter(s)
Alexandru Maries, University of Cincinnati
Zhongzhou Chen, University of Central Florida