The effect of questions and feedback used to complement static and animated visualization on tests measuring different educational objectives
Huifen Lin, The Pennsylvania State University, United States
The Pennsylvania State University . Awarded
This study was conducted to investigate the relative effectiveness of different types of visuals (static and animated) and instructional strategies (no strategy, questions, and questions plus feedback) used to complement visualized materials for student learning with different educational objectives in a computer-based instructional (CBI) environment. Specifically, the study was designed to determine (1) which type of visuals (static versus animated) used to complement text material is more effective in facilitating student achievement of different educational objectives; (2) whether the use of questions to focus students’ attention on relevant learning cues and giving feedback to students’ responses to questions are effective instructional variables in improving student achievement of visually illustrated content material; and (3) whether there exists a difference in the amounts of time students in different treatment group spent interacting with their respective treatments.
The sample consisted of 582 undergraduate students. In this study, each student completed a demographic survey, took a prior knowledge test on physiology, interacted with assigned treatment material, and received four individual criterion posttests. The study employed a posttest only, a 2 x 3 factorial experimental design. The two independent variables in the study were visual type and instructional strategy. The independent variable, visual type, consisted of two levels: static visuals versus animated visuals. The second independent variable, instructional strategy, consisted of three levels: no strategy, questions, and questions plus feedback. The dependent variables were four criterion posttests and a composite test score. The instructional module used in this study contained a 2,000-word physiology unit focusing on the human heart, its parts, locations, and functions during the diastolic and systolic phases (Dwyer & Lamberski, 1977).
The data analysis was composed of two phases. The first phase analyzed data that included all items in the four criterion posttests (80 items) plus a composite score. The second phase analyzed data that included enhanced items only (34 items), plus a composite score that was calculated based on these 34 items. In addition, the amount of time spent on the task (time-on-task) was entered into the analysis as a covariate in both phases of data analysis.
The results of the study indicated that there was no interaction between visual type and instructional strategy on all criterion posttests or the composite score across the two phases of analysis. Students who received either the animated or static visual treatments did not score differently for the level of instructional strategy they received. However, the main effect of visual type and instructional strategy was detected on some criterion posttests. For the visual type, students who received the animated visual treatment scored significantly higher on all criterion posttests than those who received the static visual treatment. For the instructional strategy, students who received the "Questions+Feedback" scored significantly higher than those who received "No strategy" on both the terminology and comprehension tests. In addition, students who received the "Questions" treatment scored significantly higher than those who received "No strategy" on the terminology test. All observed differences between the "Questions+Feedback" and "Questions" treatments failed to reach statistical significance at the .05 level.
In regard to the second phase of the analysis, the result indicated that students who received animated visuals scored significantly higher than those who received static visuals on the drawing, terminology, and comprehension criterion posttests. Students who received animated visuals also had a significantly better overall performance than those who received the static visual treatment as indicated from the composite score of the 34 enhanced items. In regard to the instructional strategy, students who received the "Questions+Feedback" treatment scored significantly higher than those who received the "No strategy" treatment on the terminology and comprehension criterion posttests in addition to a higher composite score. Students who received the “Questions” treatment scored significantly higher than those who received "No strategy" only in the terminology criterion posttest. All observed differences between "Questions+Feedback" and "Questions" failed to reach significant differences at the .05 level. The data analysis on the time-on-task for each treatment group yielded different results. Students who received the animated visual treatment spent significantly more time on the instruction than those who received the static visual treatment. Students in both the "Questions+Feedback" and "Questions" treatment groups spent significantly more time in studying the material than those who received "No strategy." However, no significant differences on instructional time were found between "Questions" and "Questions+Feedback." Considering that the amount of time needed to engage in the learning task may contribute to the students' learning achievement, a series of follow-up analyses holding the time constant were conducted.
The results, when adjusting for the time-on-task, indicated that the relationship observed from the initial analysis, where the time-on-task was not controlled, was inflated. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)
Lin, H. The effect of questions and feedback used to complement static and animated visualization on tests measuring different educational objectives. Ph.D. thesis, The Pennsylvania State University.
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