Bridging Principles and Examples through Analogy and Explanation

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Bridging Principles and Examples through Analogy and Explanation

Timothy J. Nokes and Kurt VanLehn

Summary Table

===Study 1=== (Laboratory Experiment)

PIs Timothy Nokes and Kurt VanLehn
Study Start Date May, 2007
Study End Date June, 2007
LearnLab Site University of Pittsburgh
Number of Students 60 (planned)
Total Participant Hours 180 (planned)
Data Shop na

Explanation > Control; more likely to choose problems that match on deep features than surface features.

    • Problem solving with equations: Analogy+explanation = Explanation = Control; accuracy
    • Problem solving without equations: Analogy+explanation > Explanation > Control; accuracy
    • Problem posing: Analogy+explanation > Explanation > Control; accuracy and justifications
  • Andes performance: Analogy+explanation > Explanation > Control; errors rates


Prompting students to explain how each step of a worked example is related to the principles facilitates the generation of inferences connecting the physics principles and concepts to the procedures and equations in the problem. These inferences serve to highlight the importance of the concepts in problem solving and increase the likelihood of future activation when solving novel problems. Furthermore, they serve as the critical links integrating and coordinating the principle knowledge components with the problem features.

By comparing similarities and differences of worked examples students have an opportunity to identify the important features of the problems. After having identified the important features they can be related to the principle description through explanation.



Annotated Bibliography

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Further Information