Instructional Science

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

5 days 4 hours 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.

Using self-determination theory (SDT) to explain student STEM interest and identity development

1 month ago
Abstract

Students’ strongly positive STEM interest and identity predict their future study and career choices in a STEM field. STEM education studies addressing multiple disciplines together are insufficient, as they have produced mixed findings and inadequate direction for advancing integrated STEM education. Self-determination theory (SDT) provides an understanding of motivational processes that influence the development of STEM interest and identity. This study investigated the effectiveness of a set of proposed teacher needs-supportive strategies on student STEM interest and identity development during a proposed 12-week SDT-based STEM program. Three hundred forty-two ninth grade students were randomly assigned to SDT and non-SDT groups during the program. The results support the application of SDT in integrated STEM learning and explain how supporting student needs affects their STEM interest and identity, which is crucial in interdisciplinary learning and the development of adolescent interest and identity in K–12. Moreover, the results contribute to SDT by adding a new dimension—integrated STEM interest and identity—and presenting more evidence on how the teacher’s needs-supportive strategies foster this dimension. These results have practical implications for advancing integrated STEM education in addition to new opportunities for using fewer resources to effectively foster student interest and identity in compulsory education.

Promoting interdisciplinary understanding in asynchronous online higher education courses: a learning communities approach

1 month ago
Abstract

The purpose of this research is to examine whether, and how, an asynchronous online learning community pedagogical approach can address students’ challenge of integrating disciplinary ideas into an interdisciplinary understanding. A quasi-experimental research design was conducted in which 51 undergraduate students were allocated into two groups who learned a similar asynchronous online interdisciplinary course. The two groups differed in the learning mode in which the courses were designed and taught: a learning community (LC) mode for the experimental group, versus an individual learning (IL) mode for the control group. We used a designated rubric to compare the quality of students’ interdisciplinary understanding, as expressed in a synthesis essay each student wrote. Findings show that students’ abilities to synthesize disciplinary ideas were significantly higher in the LC group. Since synthesis of disciplinary ideas is the goal and essence of interdisciplinarity, we view these findings as indicating a higher quality of interdisciplinary understanding among the LC mode students. This work demonstrates and delineates the potential of the LC approach to promote the development of interdisciplinary understanding in higher-education asynchronous online environments.

Do you trust this speaker? The impact of prompting on middle-school students’ consideration of source when watching conflicting videos

1 month ago
Abstract

In this study, we investigated the impact of prompting on young students’ source consideration when watching videos with conflicting information. 262 French 7th graders were shown a series of videos in which two speakers (varying in credibility) took opposite stances on the topic of organic farming. The students were either given no prompts (control group), an indirect form of prompting (watching an instructional video on the benefits of sourcing before processing the material), a direct form of prompting (filling out source credibility rating scales during the processing of the material) or a combination of direct and indirect prompting. While the impact of the instructional video on students’ source consideration proved marginal, students who had to fill in the source credibility rating scales during the processing of the material remembered the identity of the speakers better (notably in delayed posttest), were more inclined to consider the expert interviewee as more convincing and to mention interviewees’ expertise to justify their judgement. These results suggest that prompting seventh graders to evaluate the credibility of the sources during the processing of the material through the completion of credibility rating scales is an efficient method to improve their consideration of source information when watching videos.

Eye movements in the manipulation of hands-on and computer-simulated scientific experiments: an examination of learning processes using entropy and lag sequential analyses

1 month ago
Abstract

Computer-simulated experiments have been gaining popularity over hands-on experiments in science education, given the availability of technology and the trend of distance learning. Past studies have focused primarily on comparing the learning outcomes and user experiences of the two experiment modes. In this study, we used an eye tracker to investigate the learning processes involved in manipulating hands-on and computer-simulated experiments, and the effect of prior knowledge and experiment mode on eye movements. A total of 105 undergraduates completed either mode of experiment to learn about pulley mechanics. Participants were asked to read relevant concepts before conducting the experiments to ensure they had basic knowledge about the subject matter. Results showed that the learning outcome of experimentation was affected by prior knowledge but not experiment mode. As for eye movements, the two experiment workstations were divided into nine functional regions. The findings revealed that eye movements in most regions were affected by the experiment mode, but not prior knowledge. The simulation group had shorter total fixation durations and smaller pupil sizes than the hands-on group, implying a lower cognitive load in learning in computer-simulated experiments. Lag sequential analysis and entropy analysis were conducted on cross-regional fixation transitions. The results revealed that participants in hands-on experiments tended to make more diversified fixation transitions across regions, whereas those in simulated experiments showed a higher level of concentration in the spatial pattern of fixation transitions. While sequential analysis offers insights into important fixation transitions on a regional level, entropy analysis allows for a more macro perspective on the overall transition distribution and facilitates conventional statistical modeling that takes individual differences into account.

Examining the effects of tempo in background music on adolescent learners’ reading comprehension performance: employing a multimodal approach

1 month ago
Abstract

This present study examines the psycho-emotional and psychophysiological effects that variations in the tempo of background music have on learners who are completing reading comprehension tests while being monitored used multi-modal computer technology. Results of seventy-four (N = 74) participants indicated that listening to fast tempo music (150 bpm) predicted lower reading comprehension scores, increased emotional expressions of fear, joy and contempt, and higher skin conductance responses (SCRs). Results indicated that participants were more likely to produce higher scores while listening to slow tempo music (110 bpm), but such findings were not connected to significant differences in facial emotion expressions or psychophysiological responses. Contrasting these were control/no-music conditions in which participants exhibited moderated scores. Results from the fast-tempo condition can possibly be attributed in part to an affective valence of emotions and psychophysiological responses, as the multimodal data suggests that a combined regulatory mechanism may be at play while engaged in a learning task. This paper raises several questions regarding the use and effects of background music in performance-based learning settings and the role of affective-stimuli on cognitive regulation.

Metadiscourse, knowledge advancement, and emotions in primary school students’ knowledge building

1 month ago
Abstract

Knowledge Building principles such as real ideas, authentic problems; epistemic agency; and collective responsibility for advancement of community knowledge convey ways in which Knowledge Building mirrors work in knowledge-creating communities. Previous studies suggest Metadiscourse—discourse about discourse—helps sustain and improve community knowledge. Do students’ emotions differ during metadiscourse compared to other discourse contexts? Is metadiscourse even possible in early elementary grades? If so, what emotions are associated with discourse moves requiring high-level reflection on prior discourse? Is it possible that such reflection engenders positive emotions required for sustained creative work with ideas? To address these issues, the authors engaged 22 grade 2 students (7 years old) in monthly metadiscourse sessions over four months, during which they discussed how their ideas changed, what they still wondered about, and what ideas they wanted to pursue. Video recordings of face-to-face sessions, online Knowledge Forum notes, students’ interviews, teacher’s reflections, and field notes were analyzed using discourse analysis, multi-faceted coding, and correlation analysis. The authors examined how students’ emotions and discourse moves differ in Knowledge Building discourse and metadiscourse and correlations between emotions and different discourse moves. The results show: (1) greater levels of enjoyment, reflection on previous ideas, and proposals for new directions for inquiry during metadiscourse sessions; (2) confidence positively associated with explanations and proposals for new directions for inquiry; (3) positive emotions associated with increasingly challenging cognitive work. The relationships between early elementary-grade students’ emotions and cognition during Knowledge Building is an underdeveloped area of investigation; in an effort to guide future research a model for regulating emotions in Knowledge Building is presented.

Improving multiple document comprehension with a lesson about multi-causal explanations in science

1 month ago
Abstract

Relying on multiple documents to answer questions is becoming common for both academic and personal inquiry tasks. These tasks often require students to explain phenomena by taking various causal factors that are mentioned separately in different documents and integrating them into a coherent multi-causal explanation of some phenomena. However, inquiry questions may not make this requirement explicit and may instead simply ask students to explain why the phenomenon occurs. This paper explores an Activity Model Hypothesis that posits students lack knowledge that their explanation should be multi-causal and how to engage in the kind of thinking needed to construct such an explanation. This experiment, conducted on a sample of eigth grade students, manipulated whether students received a short 10-min lesson on the nature of scientific explanations and multi-causal reasoning. Students who received this causal chain lesson wrote essays that were more causally complex and integrated, and subsequently performed better on an inference verification test, than students who did not receive the lesson. These results point to relatively simple changes to instructions that can provide the support students need for successful multiple-document comprehension.

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

1 month 2 weeks 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.

Are you inspired or overwhelmed? The benefits of teachers setting challenging expectations

1 month 3 weeks ago
Abstract

Teachers form expectations that can influence their students’ performance, and there are a variety of ways these expectations can be communicated. In the current study, we tested a novel method for communicating expectations via examples of student work—examples that contain basic, entry-level work and communicate low, but manageable expectations or examples that contain complex, advanced-level work and communicate high and challenging expectations. Across three semesters, 91 college students in a data management course completed a class assignment that involved exploratory coding activities. Prior to the assignment, students were randomly assigned to view basic or advanced examples of student work. Students assigned to the advanced-examples condition reported higher perceptions of task difficulty and frustration, but they also exhibited higher levels of performance in terms of the complexity of their own work. Results suggest that setting challenging expectations can create a desirable difficulty that ultimately benefits students’ performance in an authentic learning environment.

Exploring when learners become aware of their knowledge gaps: Content analyses of learner discussions

2 months 2 weeks ago
Abstract

This study investigates when and how awareness of knowledge gaps (AKG) manifests by observing the problem-solving phase of the educational approach known as problem-solving followed by instruction (PS-I). By comprehensively exploring cognitive and metacognitive process of learners during this phase and categorizing students’ judgements of knowledge structure in relation to AKG, it strengthens the underlying mechanisms of PS-I. With sixteen university students as participants, this study quantitatively and qualitatively analyzes conversations that take place during problem-solving activities. In the analysis, the authors suggest a total of ten cognitive and metacognitive events that occur and six judgements of knowledge structure in relation to AKG. The findings indicate that students spend most of their time solving the problem and seldom evaluate their thoughts; few express awareness of a knowledge gap. The authors discuss the relationships between the judgements of knowledge structure and consider when—and to what extent—students perceive their knowledge gaps. Lastly, the authors bring four learning behaviors (i.e., representing and reflecting on knowledge; recognizing and specifying knowledge gaps) with possible instructional strategies to promote each learning behavior.

When do students provide more peer feedback? The roles of performance and prior feedback experiences

3 months ago
Abstract

Students benefit from receiving and providing peer feedback, but the degree of participation limits the benefit. Further, students sometimes resist participation, providing few or only short comments. Prior researchers have examined the role of general attitudes toward peer feedback in limiting participation. However, little research has examined how peer feedback experiences predict the subsequent amount of feedback that students provide to peers. Data on peer feedback experiences and behaviors across multiple assignments were taken from students across two psychology courses (N = 360), two biology courses (N = 483), and one astronomy course (N = 170). The zero-inflated negative binomial (ZINB) regression analyses reveal that receiving fewer critical peer comments in the prior assignment, recognition for higher quality feedback in the prior assignment, and stronger performance on the current assignment predicted higher participation in peer feedback, but norm-setting did not appear to have a role. Implications for practitioners are discussed.

Scoping deliberations: scaffolding engagement in planning collective action

3 months ago
Abstract

Most social challenges fall outside of the authority of any single individual and therefore require collective action—coordinated efforts by many stakeholders to implement solutions. Despite growing interest in teaching students to lead collective action, we lack models for how to teach these skills. Collective action ostensibly involves design: the act of planning to change existing situations into preferred ones. In other domains, instructors commonly scaffold design using an instructional model known as studio critique in which students strengthen their plans by exchanging arguments with peers and instructors. This study explores whether studio critique can serve as the basis for an effective instructional model in collective action. Using design-based research methods, we designed and implemented scoping deliberations, a new instructional model that augments studio critique with domain-specific templates for planning collective action and repeats weekly to enable iterations. We used process tracing to analyze data from field notes, video, and artifacts to evaluate causal explanations for events observed in this case study. By implementing scoping deliberations in a 10-week undergraduate course, we found that this model appeared effective at scaffolding engagement in planning collective action: students articulated and refined their plans by engaging in argumentation and iteration, as expected. However, students struggled to contact the community stakeholders with whom they planned to work. As a result, their plans rested on implausible, untested assertions. These findings advance instructional science by showing that collective action may require new instructional models that help students to test their assertions against feedback from community stakeholders. Practically, scoping deliberations appear most useful for scaffolding thoughtful planning in conditions when students are already collaborating with stakeholders.

Do students learn more from failing alone or in groups? Insights into the effects of collaborative versus individual problem solving in productive failure

3 months ago
Abstract

Productive Failure (PF) is an instructional design that implements a problem-solving phase which aims at preparing students for learning from a subsequent instruction. PF has been shown to facilitate students’ conceptual knowledge acquisition in the mathematical domain. Collaboration has been described as a vital design component of PF, but studies that have investigated the role of collaboration in PF empirically so far, were not able to confirm the necessity of collaboration in PF. However, these studies have diverged significantly from prior traditional PF studies and design criteria. Therefore, the role of collaboration in PF remains unclear. In an experimental study that is based on the traditional design of PF, we compared a collaborative and an individual problem-solving setting. It was hypothesized that collaboration facilitates the beneficial preparatory mechanisms of the PF problem-solving phase: prior knowledge activation, awareness of knowledge gaps, and recognition of deep features. In a mediation analysis, the effects of collaborative and individual problem solving on conceptual knowledge acquisition as mediated through the preparatory mechanisms were tested. In contrast to the hypotheses, no mediations or differences between conditions were found. Thus, collaboration does not hold a major preparatory function in itself for the design of PF.

Developing a needs-based plagiarism management in second-language writing in a higher education institute: practice-oriented research

3 months ago
Abstract

The paper describes an action research being developed by the researcher to address the issue of plagiarism and assist tertiary students to master second-language (L2) writing using sources in a higher education institute (HEI) in Oman. It recruited 16 undergraduate students from two classes who undertook an L2 writing course. To identify their needs of citation skills and develop a follow-up action plan, the students were initially asked to write a referenced-based essay, and then they were interviewed to explore their knowledge and skills of citation. Accordingly, specific amount of tasks were developed and conducted in 10 weeks. After implementing the tasks, the participants were asked to write another referenced-based essay and then they were interviewed for the second time to explore any change they had in knowledge and skills of citation. Findings showed that instances of plagiarism significantly decreased in their second essay; however, there was a modest overall improvement in cases of misinterpreted citations across the students who had low level of English proficiency. Implications for teaching citation skills in academic L2 writing contexts are discussed.

Effectiveness of invention tasks and explicit instruction in preparing intellectually gifted adolescents for learning

3 months ago
Abstract

Solving a novel problem has recently garnered some attention as a viable alternative to traditional explicit instruction in the preparation of students for learning. This study investigated the effectiveness of introducing problem-solving tasks and worked examples prior to explicit instruction, along with the use of contrast, for gifted and non-gifted adolescents. One hundred and ninety-nine students from academically selective government and Independent high schools participated in this study. The 2 × 2 × 2 research design that was used examined the effects of giftedness (i.e., gifted vs. non-gifted), instruction-type (i.e., problem-solving vs. worked examples), and structure (i.e., high vs low contrast materials) on the learning outcomes of transfer and procedural knowledge. The study also examined the impact of explicit instruction and invention-first instruction strategies on non-performance variables—self-efficacy, extraneous load, experience of knowledge gaps, and interest. The results of the study suggested that invention-first instruction may be more effective than example-first instruction in transfer, and that gifted students may benefit more from invention-first instruction than example-first instruction. The use of contrast materials was not found to affect performance. Furthermore, instruction was found to have no significant effects on the investigated non-performance variables. Collectively, these findings challenge the conventional teaching modality of explicit instruction in gifted education, and puts forward the possibility of the invention-first strategy as an effective instructional strategy for gifted students.

Reflections on sustained debugging support: conjecture mapping as a point of departure for instructor feedback on design

3 months ago
Abstract

This paper articulates an approach to incorporating instructor feedback in design-based research. Throughout the process of designing and implementing curriculum to support middle school students’ debugging practices in a summer computer science workshop, our research and practice team utilized instructor-generated conjecture maps as boundary objects, providing insight into the instructors’ reflections on their classroom teaching. We develop an analytic tool for categorizing instructors’ reflections on their conjecture maps, attending specifically to how instructors push back on design choices, whether by envisioning new mediating processes, introducing new connections, discussing new design features, articulating confusion/uncertainty, and/or presenting hopes and predictions. The tool is then applied to seven instructors’ daily reflections over the course of four weeks of instruction, focused on three conjecture maps. Overall, the paper documents a range of tensions that instructors encounter when aiming to provide sustained debugging support to students and introduces a tool for understanding the detailed ways that instructors critique design conjectures.

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

3 months 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.

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

3 months 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.

Better self-explaining backwards or forwards? Prompting self-explanation in video-based modelling examples for learning a diagnostic strategy

3 months 2 weeks ago
Abstract

Self-explanation prompts in example-based learning are usually directed backwards: Learners are required to self-explain problem-solving steps just presented (retrospective prompts). However, it might also help to self-explain upcoming steps (anticipatory prompts). The effects of the prompt type may differ for learners with various expertise levels, with anticipatory prompts being better for learners with more expertise. In an experiment, we employed extensive modelling examples and different types of self-explanations prompts to teach 78 automotive apprentices a complex and job-relevant problem-solving strategy, namely the diagnosis of car malfunctions. We tested the effects of these modelling examples and self-explanation prompts on problem-solving strategy knowledge and skill, self-efficacy, and cognitive load while learning. In two conditions, the apprentices learned with modelling examples and received either retrospective or anticipatory prompts. The third condition was a control condition receiving no modelling examples, but the respective open problems. In comparison with the control condition, modelling examples did not promote learning. However, we observed differential effects of the self-explanation prompts depending on the learner’s prior knowledge level. Apprentices with higher prior knowledge learned more when learning with anticipatory prompts. Apprentices with less prior knowledge experienced a greater increase in self-efficacy and a higher germane cognitive load when learning with retrospective prompts. These findings suggest using different self-explanation prompts for learners possessing varying levels of expertise.