A Cognitive Model of Learning from Examples

Under the direction of Randolph M. Jones, I'm working on a project involving cognitive modeling. I am currently examining which types of study habits cause students to learn most efectively. For this project we are focusing on students learning introductory physics. My goal is to further investigate an existing computer program called Cascade (VanLehn, Jones, & Chi, 1992). In past research Cascade was able to model psychological data on the "Self-Explanation Effect" (Chi et al., 1989). I intend to use Cascade to explain new psychological data (Renkl, Atkinson, & Maier, 2000) showing that student learning depends upon the particular presentation of examples and study problems. I am running different combinations of examples through Cascade, to determine which combinations maximize learning. Hopefully, this study will also tell us how to design example sequences for similar academic subjects.

Chi, M. T. H., Bassok, M., Lewis, M. W., Reimann, P., & Glaser, R. (1989). Self-explanations: How students study and use examples in learning to solve problems. Cognitive Science, 13, 145-182.
Renkl, A. Atkinson, R. K., & Maier, U. H. (2000). From studying examples to solving problems: Fading worked-out solution steps helps learning. In L. R. Gleitman & A. K. Joshi (Eds.), Proceedings of the Twenty-Second Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 393-398. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
VanLehn, K., Jones, R. M., & Chi, M. T. H. (1992). A model of the self-explanation effect. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 2, 1-59.

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