Are Worked Examples an Effective Feedback Mechanism During Problem Solving?

Abstract

Current research in learning technologies has found both interactive tutored problem solving and presenting worked examples to be effective in helping students learn math. However, which information presentation method is more effective is still being debated among the cognitive science and intelligent tutoring societies and there is no widely accepted answer. This study compares the relative effectiveness between these two strategies when they are used as a feedback mechanism. Controlling for the number of problems, we presented both strategies to groups of students in local middle schools and the results showed significant learning in both conditions. In addition, our results are more in favor of the tutored problem solving condition as it showed significantly higher learning. We propose that the level of interactivity plays a role in which strategy is more effective.


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