Computer-Based Instruction: Effect of Cognitive Style, Instructional Format, and Subject-Matter Content on Learning
Final technical rept. Jan 1986-Dec 1988
ROCHESTER UNIV NY GRADUATE SCHOOL OF EDUCATION AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
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This report describes an experiment investigating the effects of cognitive style, presentation format, and task content on learning. Cognitive style was described in terms of hemisphericity i.e., left-or right-brain influence on perception. Presentation format consisted of graphics, text, and a combination of the two. The tasks consisted of knowledge, skill, attitude and decision-making. Fifty-nine college students participated in the study. In the knowledge task, subjects learned 10 pairs of words. In the skill task, subjects built an abstract model of a windmill. In the attitude task, subjects responded to facts and opinions on a current affairs topic. The decision-making task involved a maze problem. Subjects were tested immediately after training, 2 weeks after training and again at 4 weeks after training. Results indicated the following Presentation format, gender, and hemisphericity all appeared to influence performance on the knowledge task. Presentation format and gender influenced performance on the skill task. Presentation format influenced performance on the decision-making task. This research is an initial exploration into adaptive training for computer-based systems. The ability to adapt to an individuals preferred learning style is a significantly challenge for designers of training systems. The basis for the adaptability may be grounded in individual differences in cognitive style.
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