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Educational Psychology Review

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 427–443 | Cite as

Giving Learning a Helping Hand: Finger Tracing of Temperature Graphs on an iPad

  • Shirley Agostinho
  • Sharon Tindall-Ford
  • Paul Ginns
  • Steven J. Howard
  • Wayne Leahy
  • Fred Paas
Review Article

Abstract

Gesturally controlled information and communication technologies, such as tablet devices, are becoming increasingly popular tools for teaching and learning. Based on the theoretical frameworks of cognitive load and embodied cognition, this study investigated the impact of explicit instructions to trace out elements of tablet-based worked examples on mathematical problem-solving. Participants were 61 primary school children (8–11 years), who studied worked examples on an iPad either by tracing temperature graphs with their index finger or without such tracing. Results confirmed the main hypothesis that finger tracing as a form of biologically primary knowledge would support the construction of biologically secondary knowledge needed to understand temperature graphs. Children in the tracing condition achieved higher performance on transfer test questions. The theoretical and practical implications of the results are discussed.

Keywords

Cognitive load theory Embodied cognition Tracing effect Tablets iPads 

Notes

Acknowledgment

This research was funded by the University of Wollongong’s Research Council Small Grant Scheme, 2013.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shirley Agostinho
    • 1
  • Sharon Tindall-Ford
    • 2
  • Paul Ginns
    • 3
  • Steven J. Howard
    • 1
  • Wayne Leahy
    • 4
  • Fred Paas
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Early Start Research InstituteUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia
  2. 2.School of Education, Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia
  3. 3.Faculty of Education and Social WorkThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  4. 4.School of Education, Faculty of Human SciencesMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia
  5. 5.Institute of PsychologyErasmus UniversityRotterdamThe Netherlands

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