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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Computer-assisted problem solving : the interaction between conceptual tempo and feedback Wellburn, Elizabeth


A study was conducted with 76 grade seven students to determine the interaction between conceptual tempo (defined as reflectivity versus impulsivity) and three levels of instruction (no strategy instruction, strategy instruction fed forward, and strategy instruction in a feedback format) on a computer generated transformation problem (a maze). As has been found previously, reflectives have an advantage over impulsives in problem solving performance. Performance was based on several criteria, including speed and accuracy of a first attempt at the problem, speed and accuracy in a direct repeat of the problem and speed and accuracy in a related problem where generalizable skills could have been transferred. In all cases, different instructional presentations had no effect if the total population was considered, but some strong interactions were found between instruction and conceptual tempo. This led to a conclusion that aptitude-treatment interactions should be considered in problem-solving research. Some exploratory observations regarding other aspects of individual characteristics, such, as gender differences in computer anxiety and differences in cognitive processing of problems for the different conceptual tempos are also discussed.

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