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ERIC Number: EJ860912
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0663
Practice Enables Successful Learning under Minimal Guidance
Brunstein, Angela; Betts, Shawn; Anderson, John R.
Journal of Educational Psychology, v101 n4 p790-802 Nov 2009
Two experiments were conducted, contrasting a minimally guided discovery condition with a variety of instructional conditions. College students interacted with a computer-based tutor that presented algebra-like problems in a novel graphical representation. Although the tutor provided no instruction in a discovery condition, it constrained the possible actions sufficiently that students could always discover the algebraic transformations they needed to learn. In Experiment 1, with ample practice for each new transformation, students performed better in the discovery condition than any instructional condition. In Experiment 2, with only a little practice for each transformation, students performed worst in the discovery condition. The authors suggest that the high levels of practice in the 1st experiment made students more efficient at discovering the algebraic transformations. When the cognitive demands were manageable, the discovery students may have more often encoded the algebraic transformations in mathematically correct ways. (Contains 11 figures, 1 table and 2 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania