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How effective is instructional support for learning with computer simulations?
University of Kiel, Germany .
University of Halle Wittenberg, Germany .
University of Hamburg, Germany .
Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science.
2013 (English)In: Instructional science, ISSN 0020-4277, E-ISSN 1573-1952, Vol. 41, no 1, 105-124 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The study examined the effects of two different instructional interventions as support for scientific discovery learning using computer simulations. In two well-known categories of difficulty, data interpretation and self-regulation, instructional interventions for learning with computer simulations on the topic "ecosystem water" were developed and tested using a sample of 124 eighth graders in science classes. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of instructional support for domain-specific factual, conceptual, and procedural knowledge acquisition. Students who received either only instructional support for data interpretation or only for self-regulation achieved the highest learning outcomes. However, a combination of instructional support for data interpretation and self-regulation seemed detrimental for knowledge acquisition. Students who received instructional interventions for both data interpretation and self-regulation also showed the highest values of perceived cognitive load. High cognitive load could be a reason for why a combination of particular instructional interventions does not lead to the expected positive learning outcomes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Verlag (Germany) , 2013. Vol. 41, no 1, 105-124 p.
Keyword [en]
Computer simulation, Instructional support, Data interpretation, Self-regulated learning, Cognitive load, Secondary school students
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-88669DOI: 10.1007/s11251-012-9220-yISI: 000313451600005OAI: diva2:605484
Available from: 2013-02-14 Created: 2013-02-14 Last updated: 2013-02-14

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Harms, Ute
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