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Examining the Impact of Signaling Cues and Self-Explanations on Algebraic Knowledge and Learning

Sun, April 15, 8:15 to 9:45am, Millennium Broadway New York Times Square, Eighth Floor, Gallery 8

Abstract

Despite the effectiveness of worked examples at improving students’ problem solving, some students fail to notice important problem features and procedures. We examined whether combining worked examples with signaling cues, or visual attention focusing aids, would improve algebra knowledge. Algebra students (N = 205) were randomly assigned to four conditions: worked examples alone (WE), worked examples with self-explanation prompts alone (WE+Exp), worked examples with visual signaling cues alone (WE+Sig), and worked examples with both visual signaling cues and self-explanation prompts (WE+SigExp). Supplementing worked examples with visual signaling cues lead to higher post-test scores than worked examples alone. The addition of self-explanation prompts did not lead to higher post-test scores. Signaling cues and self-explanation prompts did not have additive effects.

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