June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering and Educational Research and Methods
22.543.1 - 22.543.11
Effects of visual signaling on pre-college students’ engineering learningperformance and attitudes: Peer versus adult pedagogical agents versus arrow signalingIntroduction: Providing students with multiple representations of an engineering concept canfacilitate their learning process. However, multiple representation environments can also increasethe extraneous cognitive load in novice students trying to comprehend and integrate the multiplerepresentations. Visual signaling can help in this integration effort. Two experiments with a totalof 339 middle school students were conducted to investigate the comparative effects of visualsignaling on pre-college students’ engineering learning. The studies tested the agent effecthypothesis that visual signaling with an animated pedagogical agent (APA) more effectivelysupports novice students’ learning than signaling with an arrow. Further, in line with social-cognitive research, the effects of peer and adult APA on students’ learning were examined.Experiment 1: Participants and method: Participants were a total of 190 7th and 8th grade middle-school students. All students learned about electrical circuit analysis with an agent-basedinstructional program that included circuit diagrams, equations characterizing the circuits, andcorresponding Cartesian graphs. The independent variable was the type of signaling, namelypeer-agent signaling (N = 62), arrow signaling (N = 61), or no visual signaling (N =67).Dependent variables were performance on the posttest, difficulty ratings, and student attitudes.Results: An ANOVA of the posttest scores showed a main treatment effect, F(2, 187) = 3.80,MSE = 75.0, p = .02, η² = .04. Post-hoc tests showed that the agent group produced significantlyhigher posttest scores than the control group (p = .01), and marginally significant higher posttestscores than the arrow group (p = .08). An ANOVA of the perceived difficulty ratings showed asignificant difference between the treatment groups, F(2, 187) = 4.60, MSE = 5.59 , p = .01, η² =.05. Follow-up post-hoc tests showed a significance difference between the agent and no visualsignaling groups as well as between the arrow and no visual signaling groups.Experiment 2: Participants and method: Participants were a total of 149 7th and 8th grademiddle-school students. The method and procedure were identical with Experiment 1, except thatthe peer-male agent was replaced with an adult-male agent. There were 54 students in the adult-agent group, 50 students in the arrow group, and 45 students in the no visual signaling group.Results: A significant difference was observed on time-on-task, F(2, 146) = 3.52, MSE =4564.29, p = .03, whereby the arrow group spent significantly less learning time than the othertwo groups. Further ANOVAs showed no significant differences in posttest scores nor perceiveddifficulty ratings between groups.Comparative analysis and results: A follow-up independent sample t-test of the posttestcompared only the peer-agent (PA, N = 62) and the adult-agent (AA, N = 54) conditions andshowed a marginal significant difference; t (114) = 1.84, p= .07; whereby, the PA group scoredmarginally significantly higher than the AA group.Main Conclusion: The findings of the experiments support the APA signaling hypothesis in thatthe deictic movements of a peer APA promoted better learning than arrow signaling; whereas,the agent effect vanished when using an adult-agent. Further conclusions and discussion will beincluded in full paper.
Ozogul, G., & Reisslein, M., & Johnson, A. M. (2011, June), Effects of Visual Signaling on Pre-College Students’ Engineering Learning Performance and Attitudes: Peer Versus Adult Pedagogical Agents Versus Arrow Signaling Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17824
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