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Studies have shown that exploration before instruction can improve learning. Students (N= 197) from the psychology participant pool were taught the concept and procedure of standard deviation in one of four conditions. Students were given both direct instruction and a problem to solve in one of two orders: instruction-first, or exploration-first. During the problem-solving activity, students were asked to determine the consistency of a set of numbers. This dataset was set up as a rich dataset, or to highlight contrasting cases. Students then completed a posttest. We compared mean posttest scores to find that exploration before instruction led to better understanding when using contrasting cases, but not a rich dataset. Exploring before instruction is benefited when students are helped to discern the key features of the problems, using contrasting cases.
Exploratory Learning, Consistency Problems, Rich Dataset, Contrasting Cases, Learning, Direct Instruction
Clark, Madison E; Bego, Campbell Rightmyer; McClelland, Derek K.; and DeCaro, Marci S., "Exploratory Learning Using Consistency Problems: Activity Type Matters" (2020). Undergraduate Arts and Research Showcase. 10.