The effects of different types of feedback on learning verbal reasoning in computer-based instruction
Joyce I. Epstein, Hofstra University, United States
Doctor of Philosophy, Hofstra University . Awarded
The increased use of computer-based instruction in education and industry requires a more systematic understanding of the use of feedback. Prior research has examined the effects of different kinds of feedback on verbal learning on a variety of tasks. The results suggest that different tasks call for different kinds of feedback. The purpose of this study was to extend the research on the effects of feedback on verbal learning. Different levels of feedback were applied to a task designed to enhance cognitive skills used to solve verbal analogies.
Ninety-seven undergraduate students received a 20-question pretest, followed by 20 practice questions, and a posttest consisting of the same 20 questions as the pretest. The two treatment groups differed with respect to the set of practice questions presented during instruction. One group practiced on the same set of questions as were presented in the pretest and posttest; the other group practiced on a different set of questions, which included the same vocabulary and word-pair relationships, arranged in different combinations. The three levels of feedback were: (1) no feedback; (2) knowledge of results, that indicated whether an answer was correct or wrong; and (3) knowledge of results plus extra-instructional elaborated feedback, that indicated whether an answer was correct or wrong and also provided additional instruction to guide the student to the correct answer.
The results of a repeated-measure MANOVA on the pre and posttest scores, and ANOVAs on difference scores and response patterns, indicated the superiority of offering knowledge of results plus extra-instructional elaborated feedback, when used with practice on the same set of questions. The percent of increase from pretest to posttest for students practicing on different questions during instruction was 2% with no feedback 1% with knowledge of results, and 5% with knowledge of results plus extra-instructional elaborated feedback. The percent of increase for students practicing on the same questions as presented in the pretest and posttest was 2% with no feedback, 10% with knowledge of results, and 17% with knowledge of results plus extra-instructional elaborated feedback. Only the last effect was significant at $p\le .05.$
The results were interpreted in relation to theories of the function of feedback in verbal learning. It was concluded that feedback, when applied to learning verbal analogies is most effective when it provides knowledge of results plus additional instruction. Implications for future research were presented.
Epstein, J.I. The effects of different types of feedback on learning verbal reasoning in computer-based instruction. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, Hofstra University.
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