The effects of different scaffolding strategies, prior knowledge, computer attitudes, and expertise reversal effect on learning outcomes in a cognitive apprenticeship learning environment
Marc S. Schwarz, New York University, United States
New York University . Awarded
The overall objective of this study was to examine the effectiveness of two scaffolds, specifically the availability of optional coaching and mandatory extra material within a cognitive apprenticeship framed learning environment that taught techniques for conducting online research. In addition, the study examined the viability of incorporating learning strategies and methods inherent to cognitive apprenticeship (modeling, coaching, fading, articulation, reflection, and exploration) in an online learning environment that taught techniques for conducting online research. Issues pertaining to the viability of the cognitive apprenticeship methods were examined while controlling for both learner attitude toward computers and prior experience in research techniques. Further, the study sought to examine to what extent, if any, expertise reversal was evident in learner outcomes, and its effect on group and inter-group performance results. For purposes of this study, Expertise Reversal Effect has been defined as a phenomenon in which participants who have demonstrated “expert” levels of prior domain knowledge on a baseline pretest exam then perform below, and frequently significantly below, that baseline score on a post-treatment knowledge posttest for that same domain.
The results indicated that there were no statistically significant effects on the post-treatment knowledge of research techniques posttest across the four scaffold groups. In addition, the data indicated that there were statistically significant main effects of the prior knowledge of research techniques covariate on the post-treatment knowledge of research techniques posttest, as measured by an expert-validated prior knowledge of research techniques pretest. Further, when the data for the participants who demonstrated expertise reversal was separated from the primary data corpus and the two subsequent data-groups were re-analyzed separately, both data groups indicated a statistically significant main effect on the post-treatment knowledge of research techniques posttest dependent measure when the four scaffold groups were the independent variable and when controlling for pre-treatment prior knowledge, as measured by an expert-validated pretest of research techniques.
Schwarz, M.S. The effects of different scaffolding strategies, prior knowledge, computer attitudes, and expertise reversal effect on learning outcomes in a cognitive apprenticeship learning environment. Ph.D. thesis, New York University.
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