The Effects of Computer Animated Orienting Activities and Practice on Application and Problem Solving Skills in an Elementary Science Lesson: An Exploratory Study
A study was carried out at Pennsylvania State University to examine the effects of both textual and computer animated orienting activities--i.e., mediators through which new information is presented to the learner--and practice on the application and problem solving skills of elementary school students. It was hypothesized that students provided with orienting materials containing textual and animated information would acquire both skills more effectively than students provided either activity alone or neither activity. It was further hypothesized that practice would be of greatest value where orienting support was minimal. Subjects consisted of 111 fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students from a rural public elementary school who were randomly assigned to either a text, animated, or text plus animated orienting activity group, or to a control group having no orienting activity. Groups were divided into practice and no practice subgroups. Upon completion of the computer-assisted instruction lesson, students were administered a posttest measuring both application and problem solving skills. Results indicated that the nature of the orienting activity did not affect the learning of either application or problem solving skills; however, practice was found to hamper performance for both skills, and no interactions were detected. (MES)
Rieber, L.P. & Hannafin, M.J. The Effects of Computer Animated Orienting Activities and Practice on Application and Problem Solving Skills in an Elementary Science Lesson: An Exploratory Study.