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Information Presentation and Troubleshooting in Electrical Circuits. Research Report

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International Journal of Science Education Volume 26, Number 2, ISSN 0950-0693


While learning a complex skill in science using a computer-based simulation, optimal timing of information presentation facilitates learning and enhances test performance. An optimal information presentation format is proposed: supportive information is presented before practising a skill, and procedural information is presented during practice. Four information presentation formats were compared in a factorial design with the factors timing of supportive information (before or during task practice) and timing of procedural information (before or during task practice). Eighty-eight third-year high school students (37 male, 51 female; mean age = 14 years, standard deviation = 0.52) participated in the experiment. Information searching behaviour and transfer test performance were studied. The information searching behaviour confirms the hypothesis. Findings on the transfer test are less clear due to a bottom effect.


Kester, L., Kirschner, P. & van Merrienboer, J. (2004). Information Presentation and Troubleshooting in Electrical Circuits. Research Report. International Journal of Science Education, 26(2), 239-256. Retrieved December 6, 2019 from .

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