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Effects of Instruction-Supported Learning with Worked Examples in Quantitative Method Training

Author(s): Kai Wagner | Martin Klein | Eric Klopp | Thomas Puhl | Robin Stark

Journal: Higher Education Studies
ISSN 1925-4741

Volume: 3;
Issue: 3;
Date: 2013;
Original page

An experimental field study at a German university was conducted in order to test the effectiveness of an integrated learning environment to improve the acquisition of knowledge about empirical research methods. The integrated learning environment was based on the combination of instruction-oriented and problem-oriented design principles and consisted of twelve worked examples. An elaboration intervention was administered as instructional support. The effectiveness of the learning environment both with and without the elaboration intervention was assessed using knowledge application tasks (near and far transfer), which were applied after the training phase. In addition, student’s self-reports on mindfulness (Salomon & Globerson, 1987) were collected. The training was implemented into the regular curriculum. The participants were advanced students in educational science. Both experimental groups (with elaboration intervention: n = 26; without elaboration intervention n = 27) clearly outperformed the control group (n = 17) in the knowledge application tasks. In order to (successfully) foster transferable applicable knowledge, instructional support provided via the elaboration intervention was in fact necessary. Furthermore, the self-reports of students in the experimental group with elaboration intervention showed higher mindfulness scores than those without it. Our results indicate that the integrated learning environment developed in this study can be implemented to improve the acquisition of knowledge about empirical research methods both effectively and efficiently.
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