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ERIC Number: EJ870347
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 31
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
ISSN: ISSN-0737-0008
Prospective Adaptation in the Use of External Representations
Martin, Lee; Schwartz, Daniel L.
Cognition and Instruction, v27 n4 p370-400 2009
An important element of adaptive expertise involves stepping away from a routine to retool one's knowledge or environment. The current study investigated two forms of this adaptive pattern: fault-driven adaptations, which are reactions to a difficulty, and prospective adaptations, which are proactive reformulations. Graduate and undergraduate students with no medical training engaged in a medical diagnosis task that involved complex information management. The graduate students, who were relative experts in information management and data analysis, uniformly made prospective adaptations by taking the time to create external representations of the available information before they diagnosed a single patient. In contrast, the undergraduate students only made representations reactively, when experimental manipulations made their default behaviors impractical. Graduate students tolerated the time lost creating representations in favor of future benefits--well-structured representations led to more optimal diagnostic choices. Overall, the results indicate that long-term educational experiences are correlated with prospective adaptation, even in a novel task domain that is not explicitly a part of those educational experiences. This research provides new metrics for evaluating educational interventions designed to move students along a trajectory toward adaptive expertise. (Contains 6 footnotes, 5 tables, and 10 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A