ERIC Number: ED184569
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977
Reference Count: 0
Algorithms in Education: Some Empirical Considerations.
Schmid, Richard F.; Gerlach, Vernon S.
This paper discusses several instructional issues, defines the benefits of algorithmic prescriptions, and examines their effectiveness and efficiency. An experimental study asked 77 undergraduates to master and utilize one of three forms of an algorithm: a prose discourse, a flowchart procedure, or a mastery-inducing flowchart technique. Also examined were the effects of the presence or absence of the algorithm in subsequent problem solving and the learners' ability to retain the algorithmic content over a period of time. Both test scores and times were subjected to analyses of variance. The results provided strong data for the overall effectiveness of algorithms, showing from 52 percent to over 80 percent accuracy following an average of less than 15 minutes of instruction and practice. Almost no decrement (only one percent) in performance was observed after a one week delay. Subjects did perform better when allowed continued use of the algorithmic representation, and the flowchart group was much more efficient than the other groups. The interactions suggested differential desirability of instructional strategy depending on the training needs. (Author/JEG)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Arizona State Univ., Tempe.