Instructional Science

Actor-network theory as a new direction in research on educational dialogues

2 weeks 4 days ago
Abstract

We compare the scheme for educational dialogue analysis (SEDA) to the actor-network theory (ANT) for the analysis of educational dialogues. We show that ANT unearths the socio-material structure of classroom talk as networks in which human and non-human actors (texts, diagrams, instructions, etc.) exert power on each other. The application of ANT to classroom talk led us to identify (non-)dialogic networks when human actors are not subordinated (resp. subordinated) to other actors. Roles in networks are not predetermined but translated in interactions, and networks are often blackboxed, as the original process and circumstances of their creation might be ignored. We show then that the adoption of ANT (resp. SEDA) uncovers phenomena that SEDA (resp. ANT) did not identify. SEDA helps observe the co-construction of ideas and describe shifts from the dialogic to the non-dialogic but does not explain the mechanisms that lead to these shifts. ANT explains shifts from one network to another, as it conveys the change of power relations between the different actors, role of non-human actors, and shows how they shape the dynamics of networks in classroom talk. We draw from this comparison implications both for research and educational practice in dialogic education.

How more-improvement and less-improvement groups differ in peer feedback giving and receiving practice-an exploratory study

2 weeks 4 days ago
Abstract

Peer feedback is widely applied to support peer learning and accumulating studies pointed out that feedback features directly impact its learning benefits. However, existing peer feedback studies provide limited insights into group-level peer feedback activities in authentic classrooms. This study conducted group-level peer feedback activity in social studies classrooms of a Singapore secondary school. Fourteen groups of students (N = 61, Female = 61) participated in group-level peer feedback during the computer-supported collaborative argumentation activities. Students’ collaborative argumentation and peer feedback were collected. Paired sample t-test was conducted to compare each group’s argumentation performance before and after peer feedback activity. Qualitative content analysis was implemented to identify the cognitive and affective features of peer feedback given and received by more-improvement groups and less-improvement groups. A comparison of the feature networks between two student groups revealed the effective practices of peer feedback. The results demonstrated the key role of the specific solution when student groups gave and received peer feedback apart from problem identification and general suggestions. Besides, providing peer feedback at the overall argumentation level was found to be more beneficial than a word or evidence level. When receiving feedback, the use of hedge was found to bring more group improvement than mitigation language. These findings highlight the important features of peer feedback in group-level peer feedback activities, providing insights for the design and instruction of group-level peer feedback activities in authentic classrooms.

Students’ voices—the dynamic interactions between learning preferences, gender, learning disabilities, and achievements in science studies

2 weeks 5 days ago
Abstract

Students’ individual characteristics influence the effectiveness of instruction and learning and, therefore, the depth of learning. This study brings forth the voices of middle school students regarding their science learning preferences through four modalities: visual, auditory, sensorimotor, and agency support. We examined the relationship between the students’ science learning preferences and three of their personal characteristics (gender, having or not having a learning disability, and level of scientific knowledge and skills). The study encompassed 305 students (166 girls) and applied a quantitative methodology employing two questionnaires: Scientific Knowledge and Skills and Learning Preferences. Analysis of variance and multiple regressions revealed that the participants favored all four learning modalities, with a significant preference for learning via visual and sensorimotor means. Girls significantly preferred learning preferences via visuals and agency support. A significant correlation was found between the level of preference for learning science via auditory means and the students’ level of scientific knowledge and skills. Hierarchical regression analysis showed a significant positive contribution of gender and preference for learning science via auditory means but no contribution of having a learning disability to the students’ level of scientific knowledge and skills. The study results show the importance of implementing multi-faceted instructional strategies to address students’ diversity and learning preferences. Our findings underscore the need for educators and policymakers to be attentive to the students’ voices when striving to narrow gaps, achieve equality among students, and elevate students’ knowledge and skills in science studies.

Can whole-body tracing and hand tracing make any difference? Experimental evidence of learning outcomes, cognitive load, and intrinsic motivation on university students

3 weeks 1 day ago
Abstract

The purpose of the study was to investigate (a) whether the effects of hand tracing and whole-body tracing reported in the literature could be extended to adults, and (b) the relative superiority of whole-body tracing over hand tracing. Two experiments were conducted to investigate the potential effects of these two kinesthetic approaches on learning outcomes, cognitive load, and intrinsic motivation. The results of Experiment 1 revealed that hand tracing enhanced germane load contingent upon a low-to-medium level of perceived difficulty. This effect disappeared in Experiment 2 where additional measures were taken to improve treatment fidelity. The findings of Experiment 2 revealed the beneficial effects of whole-body tracing on germane load, extraneous load, interest, and self-monitoring, some of which were dependent upon learners’ perceived difficulty and invested effort. These findings, along with implications, limitations, and future research directions, were discussed within the framework of cognitive load theory and embodied cognition theory.

Instruction in creative and argumentative writing: transfer and crossover effects on writing process and text quality

3 weeks 1 day ago
Abstract

To investigate whether a creative writing unit in upper secondary education would improve students’ creative as well as argumentative text quality and to examine whether it would change students’ writing behavior, we tested a creative writing unit based on encouraging writing in flow by using divergent thinking tasks. Four classes (Grade 10) participated in a switching replications design. Students received either creative writing instruction (CWI) or argumentative writing instruction (AWI). Key stroke logging software recorded students’ writing processes, their Creative Self-Concept (CSC) was measured, and text quality was rated holistically. Students were positive about the design of the creative writing unit and the lessons. The effects varied per panel. The first panel showed that CWI had an effect on creative text quality compared to AWI, while AWI had no effect on argumentative text quality, compared to CWI. This pattern indicates a transfer effect of creative writing instruction on argumentative text quality. The transfer effect was moderated by CSC, with larger effects for relatively high CSC-participants. The second panel did not replicate this pattern. Instead, a crossover effect was observed of CWI in panel 1 on the effect of participating in the unit on argumentative writing in panel 2, most pronounced in high CSC-participants. Students’ creative writing speed decreased in the first panel, except for students with a relatively high Creative Self-Concept, and then increased in the second panel. Our findings may guide decisions on incorporating creative writing in the curriculum.

Are we teaching novice instructional designers to be creative? A qualitative case study

3 weeks 1 day ago
Abstract

Creativity is a valuable skill for instructional designers. However, few studies have researched creativity in instructional design (ID) graduate courses. Future professionals' creative thinking is necessary to address societal, technological, and economic challenges. Developing creative thinking in novice instructional designers could allow them to generate creative solutions to ill-structured problems in real-world contexts. This multiple case study investigated the extent to which the nine core courses in an online instructional design master’s program encouraged creativity. We conducted a document analysis of course materials for each course, to analyze whether creativity indicators derived from creativity literature were present. Subsequently, a cross-case synthesis was used to identify patterns across the cases. Semi-structured interviews of the lead course instructors were conducted to evaluate the extent to which they deliberately included creativity concepts into the course design process. Results indicated core courses include learning activities and instructional strategies with the potential to foster creativity. However, explicit references mentioning creativity or being creative were only found in three courses. Lead instructors considered creativity an important aspect of teaching and learning and a concept that needs to be further developed and discussed in ID education. Implications for instructional design education are discussed.

A case of two classes: the interplay of teacher’s guidance with structuring or problematizing scaffolds within inquiry-based environments

3 weeks 1 day ago
Abstract

Inquiry includes a broad spectrum of approaches, depending on students’ responsibility over the process and the extent of the teacher’s guidance. While numerous studies have examined students’ achievements and engagement across different types of inquiry-based environments, analyses of teachers’ guidance during the process are lacking. Therefore, our overarching goal was to examine the interplay between characteristics of the inquiry-based environment and teacher’s just-in-time support. Specifically, we examined the learning processes and achievements of middle-school students as they collaboratively engaged in either a structured or a guided inquiry-based task and were supported by their teacher. Structuring scaffolds were designed to support the structured inquiry task, while problematizing scaffolds were designed to support the guided inquiry task. Post-test scores indicated a similar significant increase in students’ scientific understanding for both research conditions, despite significant differences in students’ engagement in metacognitive processes during their scientific trials. Students from the guided inquiry group engaged in longer discussions and made more references to metacognitive processes, in comparison to students from the structured inquiry group. A low to moderate correlation between students’ engagement in metacognitive processes and test-scores was identified. The teacher’s regulation of students’ discourse in the structured inquiry group was significantly greater than in the guided inquiry group, though the nature of regulation was similar. We propose that the teacher’s regulation of students’ metacognitive discourse outweighed the differences between students’ learning processes in the two learning environments, resulting in similar achievements in the two conditions albeit differences in metacognitive engagement. Implications are discussed.

The potential for reconciling pedagogical tradition and innovation: the case of socioscientific argumentation

3 weeks 1 day ago
Abstract

Classroom interactions emerging from socioscientific argumentation may be incompatible with the traditional definitions of learning, thus creating tension and potentially undermining its implementation. Leveraging existing literature, we identify argumentative talk that shifts away from scientific content and toward subjective claims, as well as instances of unproductive argumentation as the points of incompatibility. We contend that attention to the degree of compatibility of enactments of socioscientific argumentation with traditional schooling practices may be necessary for substantive implementation. The role of teachers’ and students’ interactional moves in relation to this compatibility is qualitatively examined using two analytical frameworks related to the content and form of the students’ arguments. To generate practical implications with empirical foundations, compatibility is examined in teacher-led and peer-led argumentation. In teacher-led argumentation, we show that the degree of incompatibility can be managed when teachers extend their elicitation of responses with follow-up interrogative questioning, leading students to rely more on scientific knowledge. In peer-led argumentation, incompatibility can be identified when the argumentation collapses into confrontational disagreement or uncritical agreement, obscuring instances in which students rely on scientific knowledge. We discuss the significance of productive talk moves as a way to advance from incompatibility with traditional schooling toward integrating socioscientific argumentation as a core instructional practice.

Teacher versus student perspectives on instructional quality in mathematics education across countries

3 weeks 1 day ago
Abstract

The present study examines the measurement property of instructional quality in mathematics education, building on data from teachers and students, by combing TALIS 2013 and PISA 2012 linkage data from seven countries. Confirmatory factor analysis was applied to examine the dimensionality of the construct instructional quality in mathematics instruction. Three dimensions were identified (i.e., classroom disciplinary climate, teacher support, and cognitive activation) when building on teacher data from TALIS. This three-dimensional model did not fit all countries. When analyzing PISA data, the same three dimensions could be identified, but two additional dimensions appeared: classroom management and student-orientated instruction. This five-dimensional factor structure reflected metric invariance across all countries. The findings imply that students and teachers seem to hold different perceptions about mathematics instructional quality reflect different dimensions. These differences seem to vary within and between countries. This implies that care should be taken when using the construct as an equivalent measure of instructional quality when studying school effectiveness in mathematics education across countries.

Fostering noticing of classroom discussion features through analysis of contrasting cases

3 weeks 1 day ago
Abstract

Productive classroom discussion has been shown to support student learning across academic domains. Facilitating successful discussion hinges on the teacher’s ability to make adept in-the-moment observations of various aspects of student talk and classroom dynamics. In two studies, we explore a pedagogical intervention using contrasting cases to support novice teachers in learning to notice key features of classroom discussion. Study 1 involves preservice teachers in a bilingual teaching methods course in a university-based credential program. Study 2 involves undergraduates in an education psychology course, many of whom are prospective teachers. Study participants engaged in analyzing transcript-based contrasting cases of discussion vignettes as they collaboratively developed guiding principles for effective class discussion. Data include pre- and post-instruction video noticing task reflections, principles identified, and transcribed partner discussions during the activity. Post-instruction, learners displayed increased student-centered noticing when watching videos of classroom discussions. Additionally, there was increased awareness of the absence of productive features or missed opportunities within the discourse. In this proof-of-concept set of studies, we explore the potential of contrasting cases-based activities to help prepare teachers for the complex task of orchestrating discussion by supporting them in learning to notice.

CID: a framework for the cognitive analysis of composite instructional designs

1 month ago
Abstract

Instruction often spans multiple phases (e.g., phases of discovery learning, instructional explanations, practice) with different learning goals and different pedagogies. For any combination of multiple phases, we use the term composite instructional design (CID). To understand the mechanisms underlying composite instructional designs, we propose a framework that links three levels (knowledge, learning, instruction) across multiple phases: Its core element is the specification of learning mechanisms that explain how intermediate knowledge (i.e., the knowledge state between instructional phases) generated by the learning processes of one phase impacts the learning processes of a following phase. The CID framework serves as a basis for conducting research on composite instructional designs based on a cognitive analysis, which we exemplify by discussing existing research in light of the framework. We discuss how the CID framework supports understanding of the effects of composite instructional designs beyond the individual effects of the single phases through an analysis of effects on intermediate knowledge (i.e., the knowledge state resulting from a first instructional phase) and how it alters the learning processes initiated by the instructional design of a second phase. We also aim to illustrate how CID can help resolve contradictory findings of prior studies (e.g., studies that did or did not find beneficial effects of problem solving prior to instruction). Methodologically, we highlight the challenge of altering one learning mechanism at a time as experimental variations on the instructional design level often affect multiple learning processes across phases.

Semiempty collaborative concept mapping in history education: students’ engagement in historical reasoning and coconstruction

1 month ago
Abstract

There is abundant research on the use of concept maps in education. However, the most notable efforts have focused on learning outcomes as a consequence of individually constructed concept mapping for science concept learning. In the less explored field of history, some studies have found positive effects of collaborative concept mapping. However, student interaction has not been analyzed. This study employed quantitative and qualitative methods based on classroom discourse analysis to examine the extent to which students engage in historical reasoning and transactive interaction when they collaboratively complete a semiempty concept map, versus when they collaboratively write a summary, about 19th-century Western imperialism.

The participants were 20 secondary education students from two history classes with an average age of 16 years. Within each class, the students were randomly assigned to the different conditions: collaborative concept mapping and collaborative summary writing. Student interaction was analyzed at two different levels: the content level and modes of co-construction. The results show that the students in the semiempty concept mapping condition engaged significantly more in causal explanation and argumentation and used more historical and metahistorical concepts in their reasoning than the students in the summary writing condition. Interaction in the semiempty concept mapping condition included a much higher percentage of utterances which denoted the convergence and integration of the knowledge contributed by the partners in the dyad. This kind of transactive interaction not only reflected co-construction but also historical reasoning.

Signaling cues and focused prompts for professional vision support: The interplay of instructional design and situational interest in preservice teachers’ video analysis

1 month 3 weeks ago
Abstract

In teacher education, video representations of practice offer a motivating means for applying conceptual teaching knowledge toward real-world settings. With video analysis, preservice teachers can begin cultivating professional vision skills through noticing and reasoning about presented core teaching practices. However, with novices’ limited prior knowledge and experience, processing transient information from video can be challenging. Multimedia learning research suggests instructional design techniques for support, such as signaling keyword cues during video viewing, or presenting focused self-explanation prompts which target theoretical knowledge application during video analysis. This study investigates the professional vision skills of noticing and reasoning (operationalized as descriptions and interpretations of relevant noticed events) from 130 preservice teachers participating in a video-analysis training on the core practice of small-group instruction. By means of experimental comparisons, we examine the effects of signaling cues and focused self-explanation prompts on professional vision performance. Further, we explore the impact of these techniques, considering preservice teachers’ situational interest. Overall, results demonstrated that preservice teachers’ professional vision skills improved from pretest to posttest, but the instructional design techniques did not generally offer additional support. However, moderation analysis indicated that training with cues fostered professional vision skills for preservice teachers with low situational interest. This suggests that for uninterested novices, signaling cues may compensate for the generative processing boost typically associated with situational interest. Research and practice implications involve the consideration of situational interest as a powerful component of instructional design, and that keyword cueing can offer an alternative when interest is difficult to elicit.

Beliefs influence argumentative essay writing

2 months ago
Abstract

The content of argumentative essays is determined by multiple factors, but belief influences are understudied compared to topic knowledge and argument schema. We investigate how beliefs influence the inclusion of basic components in argumentative writing. A pre-screening survey identified believers and disbelievers in gun control effectiveness. In a subsequent laboratory session, subjects (N = 324) read a one-sided text that was either consistent or inconsistent with their beliefs. Subjects then reported their beliefs and wrote a 250-word argumentative essay explaining them. These essays were coded for the presence or absence of a claim, the number of reasons supporting the claim, the presence of a counterargument, text content, and other factors. 682 supplementary subjects provided approximately 10 ratings for each essay on several factors, including position, clarity, and consideration of both sides. Subjects who read a belief consistent text wrote essays that were more likely to contain a claim, more reasons, and text content. Subjects who read a belief inconsistent text were more likely to include an evaluative statement about the text and to consider both sides of the issue. Individual differences in belief change were related to the likelihood of stating a claim, the number of reasons, and likelihood of mentioning text content. Results suggest that beliefs influence the basic components of argumentation that are included in argumentative essays. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

The impact of interpersonal perceptions on the process of dealing with errors while providing and processing peer-feedback on writing

2 months ago
Abstract

Because of the improvement-oriented nature of peer-feedback activities, students have to deal with errors (e.g., spelling and argumentation errors) when providing and processing peer-feedback on writing assignments. Despite the central role of errors in feedback activities, it is uncertain how students deal with errors and whether the dealing with errors is affected by interpersonal perceptions. Therefore, this study explores (1) whether cognitive sub-phases are distinguishable during the process of dealing with errors and (2) the extent to which dealing with errors is affected by interpersonal perceptions. Six dyads of Dutch 11th grade students provided and processed peer-feedback on argumentative texts while thinking-aloud, and they reflected on the processes in a post-interview. The think-aloud utterances and interviews were analyzed with a mixed-methods design, using quantitative content analyses, and qualitative thematic analyses. The dealing with errors during peer-feedback provision displayed two patterns: error identification either occurred simultaneously with the decoding and often any evaluation-related thoughts lacked, or error-identification occurred as a result of an interpreting/evaluating phase. Also during peer-feedback processing, two main patterns were observable: students either knew immediately whether they agreed with feedback, or they first had to study the feedback more thoroughly. Additionally, interpersonal perceptions seemed to affect most students implicitly during feedback provision, and most students explicitly during feedback processing. As such, this study provides empirical evidence for the existence of cognitive sub-phases in the process of dealing with errors during peer-feedback activities, and portrays how these activities may be affected by interpersonal perceptions.

Intermediate indexing in small group configurations around large screens: interactions that advance knowledge building

2 months 3 weeks ago
Abstract

As educational systems design and build new spaces aimed for learning in the digital age, small group configurations around large screens have become a highly popular spatial feature in classrooms and libraries. In this paper, we introduce the idea of intermediate indexing as occurring in the space between the knot of intertwined resources at the fine-grained level of interactions and the public knowledge building effort at the community level. Arguing that these intermediate processes occur in these configurations, we explored a classroom community that studied within a learning space designed to support knowledge building between individuals, small groups, and the community. In this paper, we report on our interaction analysis of a small group of students around a large screen as they negotiate a set of ideas that they want to make public to their community. The results of this study elucidate how collective monitoring of artifacts and documents, inclusive participation structures, and fluid turn-taking transitions in these configurations ultimately contribute to the knowledge building effort.

Using productive failure to learn genetics in a game-based environment

2 months 3 weeks ago
Abstract

This study explored the use of an innovative instructional approach called Productive Failure (PF) to design an educational game and its support. The study then examined the effects of two different types of instruction—PF vs. Direct Instruction (DI)—on learning genetics and relevant mathematical knowledge in a Game-Based Learning (GBL) environment. One hundred fifty-seven Year 10 students from two high schools participated in two quasi-experimental studies. The participants were divided into two treatment groups: one group learned targeted concepts using PF with GBL (PF-GBL), while the other group learned the same concepts using DI with GBL (DI-GBL). The results of the first study indicated that the PF-GBL group showed significantly higher learning gains than the DI-GBL group on explanatory genetics knowledge. In the second study, no group difference was found between the PF-GBL group and the DI-GBL group on learning genetics and relevant mathematical knowledge. Implications of findings, limitations, and future research are discussed.

Fostering knowledge integration through individual competencies: the impacts of perspective taking, reflexivity, analogical reasoning and tolerance of ambiguity and uncertainty

2 months 3 weeks ago
Abstract

The present study examines the influence of individual competencies on knowledge integration in inter- and transdisciplinary work. Perspective taking, reflexivity, analogical reasoning, and tolerance of ambiguity and uncertainty were investigated as core competencies for fostering knowledge integration. Additional hypotheses assumed that the positive effects are valid in the scientific and economic contexts and that individual competencies predict knowledge integration at different levels of expertise. To test the hypotheses, 421 participants, comprised of students (N = 165) and individuals working in science (N = 152) and economics (N = 104), answered questionnaires on knowledge integration and competencies of knowledge integration in an online survey. Further questions collected demographic data and inquired about experience and expertise in inter- and transdisciplinary work. The main result was that all postulated competencies positively related to knowledge integration. Analogical reasoning and perspective taking showed the strongest relationships with knowledge integration. Further results show that all competencies are positively related to knowledge integration in the student and expert sample, yet the interrelationships differ between the scientific and economic sample. This investigation into the competencies of knowledge integration contributes to the education of inter- and transdisciplinarians in academia and business practice.

Learning from erroneous examples in the mathematics classroom: do students with different naïve ideas benefit equally?

2 months 3 weeks ago
Abstract

Research suggests that troubleshooting activities that require students to reflect on teacher-crafted erroneous examples; i.e., erroneous solutions to problems that correspond to widespread naïve ideas, are beneficial to learning. One possible explanation to these beneficial effects is that troubleshooting activities encourage students to test the quality of their own naïve ideas, not only the ones driving the erroneous examples, thereby improving learning. Few studies have addressed this claim, and the results are inconsistent. These studies, however, were not designed to examine the extent to which students with different naïve ideas benefit from troubleshooting activities. Here, ten 9th grade classes took part in a field experimental study that applied a pre-post-test design after finishing a unit on exponents. Students in each class were randomly assigned to a troubleshooting (114 students) or a self-diagnosis activity (112 students). Self-diagnosis activities are considered to directly nudge students to examine the quality of their own naïve ideas by requiring them to reflect on their solutions. The troubleshooting and self-diagnosis activities both capitalized on the pre-test problems. Both groups increased their proficiency in exponents to a comparable extent from the pre-test to the immediate and the delayed post-test. Troubleshooting students with different naïve ideas detected the errors in the erroneous examples equally well, and their error detection significantly and positively correlated with their self-repair of their own naïve ideas. These findings suggest that all the students benefitted from troubleshooting activities, regardless of whether their own naïve ideas resembled the ones driving the erroneous examples or not.

Bridging domains: examining the effects of relevance instructions and guiding questions on pre-service teachers’ first- and second-order knowledge integration

2 months 3 weeks ago
Abstract

The conceptualization of pre-service teachers’ knowledge integration typically involves the distinction of two types: first-order knowledge integration, which includes merging domain-specific knowledge entities into a common knowledge base, and second-order knowledge integration, which refers to the integrated (simultaneous) application of knowledge from diverse domains. This study investigates the effect of instructional prompts in the form of (a) relevance instructions and (b) guiding questions on promoting pre-service teachers’ first-order knowledge integration in a reading- and writing-based learning setting with three domain-specific study texts: one text each referring to content knowledge (CK), general pedagogical knowledge (PK), or pedagogical-content knowledge (PCK). Furthermore, the study explores whether pre-service teachers’ second-order knowledge integration depends on the degree to which they engaged in first-order knowledge integration when reading and writing about different domain-specific learning contents. The study applied a three parallel group experimental design. An analysis of essays written by N = 83 German language pre-service teachers indicated positive effects of both prompts on first-order knowledge integration. Moreover, a mediation analysis showed that pre-service teachers’ second-order knowledge integration is mediated by their first-order knowledge integration. The results are discussed and integrated into the existing body of research, practical implications are presented, and limitations of the study are explained.