ERIC Number: EJ1154171
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
What Works with Worked Examples: Extending Self-Explanation and Analogical Comparison to Synthesis Problems
Badeau, Ryan; White, Daniel R.; Ibrahim, Bashirah; Ding, Lin; Heckler, Andrew F.
Physical Review Physics Education Research, v13 n2 p020112-1-020112-27 Jul-Dec 2017
The ability to solve physics problems that require multiple concepts from across the physics curriculum--"synthesis" problems--is often a goal of physics instruction. Three experiments were designed to evaluate the effectiveness of two instructional methods employing worked examples on student performance with synthesis problems; these instructional techniques, analogical comparison and self-explanation, have previously been studied primarily in the context of single-concept problems. Across three experiments with students from introductory calculus-based physics courses, both self-explanation and certain kinds of analogical comparison of worked examples significantly improved student performance on a target synthesis problem, with distinct improvements in recognition of the relevant concepts. More specifically, analogical comparison significantly improved student performance when the comparisons were invoked between worked synthesis examples. In contrast, similar comparisons between corresponding pairs of worked single-concept examples did not significantly improve performance. On a more complicated synthesis problem, self-explanation was significantly more effective than analogical comparison, potentially due to differences in how successfully students encoded the full structure of the worked examples. Finally, we find that the two techniques can be combined for additional benefit, with the trade-off of slightly more time on task.
Descriptors: Synthesis, Best Practices, Physics, Problem Solving, Science Achievement, Science Instruction, Teaching Methods, Instructional Effectiveness, Course Evaluation, Demonstrations (Educational), Logical Thinking, Intervention, Calculus, Task Analysis, Performance Based Assessment, College Students, Statistical Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio
Grant or Contract Numbers: DRL1252399