Discovery Learning using Computer Simulations: Does Feedback Increase Student Performance

H. Dedic, S. Rosenfield (Canada), and Y. Lou (USA)


: mathematics education, post-secondary education; feedback; computer simulations


In this research we have studied feedback and how it affects student performance in discovery learning instructional settings enhanced by computer simulations. We examined two aspects of feedback: timing--whether feedback is provided during or only after learning activities; and type, specifically "single-try" elaborative feedback versus "multiple-try" elaborative feedback. We have found that: average students improve their verbal reasoning and graphical skills when exposed to "single-try" elaborative feedback that is provided during experimentation with simulations; failing students make gains only in their verbal reasoning; and, feedback has no effect on the performance of high achievers.

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