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Title: Field dependence–independence and instructional-design effects on learners’ performance with a computer-modeling tool
Authors: Angeli, Charoula
Valanides, Nicos
Kirschner, Paul A.
Keywords: Cognitive load
Complex systems
Field dependence–independence
Modeling software
Split-attention effect
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Elsevier
Abstract: The study investigated the extent to which two types of instructional materials and learner field dependence– independence affected learners’ cognitive load, time spent on task, and problem-solving performance in a complex system with a computer-modeling tool. One hundred and one primary student teachers were initially categorized into field dependent, field mixed, and field-independent learners based on their performance on the Hidden Figures Test, and were then randomly assigned to two experimental conditions. One group received a static diagram and a textual description in a split format, and the second group received the same static diagram and textual description in an integrated format. MANOVA revealed that the split-format materials contributed to higher cognitive load, higher time spent on task, and lower problem-solving performance than the integrated-format materials. There was also an interaction effect, only in terms of students’ problem-solving performance, between field dependence– independence and instructional materials, indicating that the facilitating effect of the integrated-format materials was restricted to the field-independent learners. Conclusions are drawn in terms of how the well-documented split-attention effect manifests itself irrespective of students’ field dependence-independence. Implications of the effects of reduced extraneous cognitive load on students’ problem-solving performance are also discussed.
Description: Angeli, C., Valanides, N., & Kirschner, P. A. (2009). Field dependence–independence and instructional-design effects on learners’ performance with a computer-modeling tool. Computers in Human Behavior, 25, 1355–1366.
Appears in Collections:1. LC: Publications and Preprints

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