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ERIC Number: EJ1007622
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0360-1315
Examining the Effects of Field Dependence-Independence on Learners' Problem-Solving Performance and Interaction with a Computer Modeling Tool: Implications for the Design of Joint Cognitive Systems
Angeli, Charoula
Computers & Education, v62 p221-230 Mar 2013
An investigation was carried out to examine the effects of cognitive style on learners' performance and interaction during complex problem solving with a computer modeling tool. One hundred and nineteen undergraduates volunteered to participate in the study. Participants were first administered a test, and based on their test scores they were classified into three groups, namely field-dependent, field-mixed, and field-independent learners. Participants then received the same set of integrated-format materials and were asked to use a computer modeling tool to solve a complex problem about immigration policy. A multivariate analysis of variance was performed with field type as the independent variable, and cognitive load, problem-solving performance, and learner interaction with the computer tool as the dependent variables. The results indicated that there was no significant difference in terms of the amount of cognitive load reported. However, there was a significant difference in terms of learner problem-solving performance. Specifically, field-independent learners outperformed field-dependent learners, and field-mixed learners outperformed field-dependent learners. The results also indicated significant differences in computer interaction between field-independent and field-dependent learners, and between field-mixed and field-dependent learners. The qualitative findings of the study showed that students who interacted poorly with the software were unsure about how to systematically use the affordances of the computer tool to solve the problem, did not have a goal-directed plan or strategy in mind about how to investigate the issue at hand, and had difficulty with testing the immigration policies by appropriately controlling variables in order to collect data to inform decision making. Implications are discussed in terms of designing computer systems that scaffold learners' complex problem solving by considering the cognitive demands of the task. (Contains 1 figure and 4 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A