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Computer-Assisted Instruction and Conceptual Change


American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting,


This study investigated the instructional conditions required to teach students how to initiate and employ learning activities aimed at conceptual change. The CONTACT-2 strategy (a computer-assisted instructional strategy for promoting conceptual change in the domain of physical geography) served as a starting point for a training procedure aimed at enhancing self-regulated learning. With the first experimental "scaffolding" condition, strategic support was gradually withdrawn per instructional step, while, with the second "scaffolding" condition, the number of steps was reduced as the training proceeded. Procedures for each experimental condition are outlined. Subjects were 65 fifth- and sixth-graders assigned to one of three groups: the experimental condition "scaffolding per instructional step,""scaffolding of the number of steps," and CONTACT-2 control condition. The effects of the between-subjects factor instruction on the quality of students' conceptions during seven training sessions were measured by means of idea questions, concrete problems that had to be solved by relating central concepts from the corresponding training text. Dependent variables concerned quality of conceptions, learning performance, and students' ability to initiate and employ learning activities aimed at conceptual change. Results indicated that scaffolding is a fruitful instructional approach to foster self-regulated learning aimed at conceptual change, provided that the scaffolding procedure is tuned to students' actual level of self-regulated learning: external control should not be faded until students are able and prepared to initiate and employ the required learning activities. When these conditions are met, it seems possible to design effective training procedures aimed at learning for conceptual change. Two tables and nine figures illustrate data. (Contains 38 references.) (Author/MAS)


Biemans, H.J.A. & Simons, P.R.J. (1995). Computer-Assisted Instruction and Conceptual Change. Presented at American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting 1995. Retrieved November 18, 2019 from .

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