As redundant information in learning material unnecessarily demand learners’ cognitive resources, they can benefit from decreasing instructional support with increasing expertise. However, when examining the current educational literature on tailored instructional support, we can notice that structured and formalized scaffolding procedures are still lacking.
Guidance fading in a robot construction task (2017-2018)
A first step towards a more systematic guidance fading approach emerged from a project on instructional variations in a robot construction task. The task involved building a LEGO mindstorms robot according to a given instruction. Based on a Hierarchical Task Analysis (HTA), we reduced the level of detail in the provided instructions in repeated building steps. The obtained evidence indicates effects on building time and cognitive load and suggests to further explore this approach in alternative task settings.
Reflective learning with a cognitive tutor (2019 – present)
Another project focuses on adaptive reflection prompts in a cognitive tutor that teaches optimal planning strategies with metacognitive feedback. From a series of behavioral experiments with different types of reflection prompts, we will build process models of instructional alignment. They allow the cognitive tutor to provide tailored instructional support based on the detected level of skill development. In future steps, we can also consider individual differences such as attention disorders or neural changes related to cognitive aging. From behavioral experiments with the relevant target groups, we can derive related parameters and include them in our predictive process models.
- Esmaeili Bijarsari, S., Wirzberger, M., & Rey, G. D. (2018). Guidance or Setting? Exploring the learnability of computer-based instructions in a construction task. In J. Hartig, & H. Horz (Eds.), 51st Conference of the German Psychological Society. Abstracts (p. 509). Lengerich: Pabst Science Publishers.
- Esmaeili Bijarsari, S., Wirzberger, M., & Rey, G. D. (2018). Guidance or Setting? Exploring the learnability of computer-based instructions in a construction task. In A. C. Schütz, A. Schubö, D. Endres, & H. Lachnit (Eds.), Abstracts of the 60th Conference of Experimental Psychologists (p. 69). Lengerich: Pabst Science Publishers.
- Esmaeili Bijarsari, S., Wirzberger, M., & Rey, G. D. (2017). Lernförderliche Gestaltung computerbasierter Instruktionen zur Roboterkonstruktion [Enhancing the design of computer-based instructions in a robot construction task]. In M. Eibl, & M. Gaedke (Eds.), INFORMATIK 2017, Lecture Notes in Informatics (LNI) (pp. 2279-2286). Bonn: Gesellschaft für Informatik. doi:10.18420/in2017_228