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The VCR Tutor: Effective Instruction for Device Operation

Mary A. Mark and Jim E. Greer
The Journal of the Learning Sciences
Vol. 4, No. 2 (1995), pp. 209-246
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1466691
Page Count: 38
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The VCR Tutor: Effective Instruction for Device Operation
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Abstract

A critical issue for intelligent tutoring systems (ITS) is whether knowledgeable diagnosis and feedback offers instructional benefits compared with less knowledge-intensive instructional methods. The effectiveness of different instructional methods is examined in a device operation task: setting a VCR to record a program. Four tutoring simulations use different instructional approaches emphasizing specific types of knowledge. The possibility of acquiring this knowledge is manipulated by increasing opportunities to interact with the simulation and by explicitly providing knowledgeable diagnosis and feedback. Eighty novice adults were randomly assigned to the four tutors for training. Planned comparisons of learner achievement indicate greater learning with knowledgeable diagnosis and feedback compared to correctness feedback. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) to detect predicted linear trends shows increased instructional effectiveness across versions. Results are not simply a function of differences in training time. They support the contention that knowledgeable diagnosis and feedback can offer benefits over other instructional methods.

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