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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Effect of delay of knowledge of results on the acquisition and retention of novel multiplication facts. Rogers, William Todd

Abstract

The study was designed to determine the effect delay of knowledge of results has on the acquisition and retention of novel multiplication facts presented in a classroom situation. Nine third grade classed, divided into three groups, were presented the task of learning fourteen novel facts. For group 1, a novel problem was read followed by a three second response interval during which the students recorded their answers. Knowledge of results, a reading of the problem and correct answer, was presented immediately after the response interval. For group 2, knowledge of results was provided after completion of all the problems and corresponding response intervals. For group 3, no knowledge of results was presented. The treatments were administered on each of five consecutive days. A criterion test, consisting of a tape-recording of a reading of all the multiplication problems, was administered before the treatments, immediately after completion of the treatments, and six days after completion of the treatments. The difference between the number of novel problems answered correctly on the first and second administrations of the criterion test was defined as the measure of acquisition. Retention was defined as the corresponding difference between the first and third administrations of the criterion test. The one-tailed test for correlated samples was used to test the significance of the acquisition and the retention within each group. Analysis of covariance and Scheffe's test for multiple comparisons were used to test the significance of the differences in acquisition and in retention between the groups. An ancillary problem investigated concerned the relationship between delay of knowledge of results during the acquisition of the novel multiplication facts and the possible effects on performance on the non-novel facts. The differences between the number of non-novel problems answered correctly on the first and second administrations of the criterion test and between the number of non-novel problems answered correctly on the first and third administrations of the criterion test were analyzed using the same statistical tests as for acquisition and retention. The acquisition and retention of the novel multiplication facts were statistically, but not educationally, significant. The educational insignificance of these findings was attributed to the short period over which the experiment was conducted. In comparing groups the acquisition and retention of the novel facts were significantly greater for the two groups provided with knowledge of results than for the group provided with no knowledge of results. No significant difference existed between the group provided with immediate knowledge of results and the group provided with delayed knowledge of results. This apparent lack in difference was likely due to the small gains made by both groups. The number of non-novel problems answered correctly was significantly greater on the second and third administrations of the criterion test than on the first for the group provided with immediate knowledge of results during the acquisition of the novel facts. The number of non-novel problems answered correctly was significantly greater on the third administration of the criterion test than on the first for the group provided with delayed knowledge of results. All other differences were found to be insignificant.

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