Providing the Option to Skip Feedback in a Worked Example Tutor
Providing choice is known to intrinsically motivate learners and support self-regulated learning. In order to study the effect of providing the choice to skip feedback in an online tutor traditionally used in-natura, we conducted a controlled study in Fall 2015. Experimental group was given the choice to skip the worked example provided as feedback after the student had solved a problem incorrectly, whereas control group was not. We found that providing the choice did not lead to greater learning. Experimental group students needed marginally more problems to learn each concept, and their pre-post improvement was marginally less. When we analyzed skipping behavior, we found that neither the grade on a problem nor the grade on the prior problem on the same concept affected a student’s decision to read or skip feedback. Novelty of the concept on the other hand may prompt students not to skip feedback. Whether or not students skipped feedback on a problem did not affect their grade on the next problem on the same concept. Students were just as likely to skip as not skip feedback on the various problems. Some students tended to skip far more than others.
KeywordsWorked example Help-seeking Intrinsic motivation Programming tutor
Partial support for this work was provided by the National Science Foundation under grant DUE 1432190.
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