Message Design: Reading Reflection W6

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Reflection Week 6 Submitted: June 19, 2008 By: Jennifer Maddrell For: Dr. Morrison, IDT 895 Reflection – Kester, Kirschner, and van Merrienboer Overview Kester, Kirschner, and van Merrienboer (2006) conducted a study to assess the optimal presentation timing of declarative (conceptual) and procedural (task specific rule) information. Kester et al. contemplated the timing of presentation within the context of a computer mediated learning environment which incorporated problem solving practice tasks. They conducted their study under the premise of cognitive load theory that intrinsic load should be managed while reducing extraneous load and optimizing germane load. Their findings indicate that intrinsic knowledge can be managed by providing declarative and procedural information in what they term a “piece-by-piece” fashion. Further, their findings suggest that by providing declarative information before practice and procedural information during practice higher efficiency and effectiveness outcomes will results. Research Kester et al. (2006) were interested in determining if intrinsic cognitive load could be managed through altering the presentation of information. Further, they questioned if providing “just-in-time” information during practice would reduce extraneous cognitive load. Methods The investigation involved presenting learners with four different informationpresentation formats: 1) declarative before practice / procedural during practice, 2) declarative during practice / procedural before practice, 3) declarative before practice / procedural before practice, and 4) declarative after practice / procedural after practice. Effectiveness was measured through two types of performance tests while efficiency measured assessed learning outcomes relative to working memory allocation. Tested hypothesis. The primary hypothesis was that the formats involving presentation of declarative information before or during practice would result in higher performance and efficiency measures due to the management of intrinsic load (piece-by-piece presentation). Further, information presentation that includes declarative before / procedural during practice would be superior to the other three due to both the management of intrinsic load (as part of a piece-by-piece and just-in-time presentation). Findings. The research finding supports the primary “piece-by-piece” hypothesis. Presentation of all information prior to practice was shown in the study to be an inefficient and less effective option. Further, the just-in-time information presentation did not produce better efficiency or performance measures. Instead, the findings indicate that some information should be presented prior to practice and part during practice. Such a staggered approach was shown in the study to result in better efficiency and performance measures. By presenting information in this manner, learners are likely better able to allocate working memory capacity. Importance of Paper For designers. The study provides practical heuristics for designers. Based on the findings from the study, the optimal presentation strategy (to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the instruction) involves the staggering of presentation by giving some information prior to practice and some during practice. 1|Page Reflection Week 6 Submitted: June 19, 2008 By: Jennifer Maddrell For: Dr. Morrison, IDT 895 For researchers. The paper also provides a good launch pad for future research. As noted by the authors, it is unclear if these results would occur with tasks and information having increased complexity. Questions also linger with regard to the how much control over information presentation should be given to learners. In addition, how much guidance or support should be given with regard to optimal presentation sequencing? 2|Page Reflection Week 6 Submitted: June 19, 2008 References By: Jennifer Maddrell For: Dr. Morrison, IDT 895 Kester, L.; Kirschner, P. A.; van Merrienboer, J. J. G. (2006). Just-in-Time Information Presentation: Improving Learning a Troubleshooting Skill. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 31 (2 ). 167-185 3|Page