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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.

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Exploratory Learning, Consistency Problems, Rich Dataset, Contrasting Cases, Learning, Direct Instruction



Exploratory Learning Using Consistency Problems: Activity Type Matters

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