Enhancing Learning through Computer Animation

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Summary Table

Study 1

PIs Stephen Reed, Albert Corbett, Bob Hoffman
Other Contributers Research Programmers/Associates: Ben MacLaren (Research Programmer, CMU HCII), Angela Wagner (Research Associate, CMU HCII)
Study Start Date January, 2008
Study End Date December, 2008
LearnLab Site Central Westmoreland, Riverview, Saltsburg
LearnLab Course Algebra II
Number of Students 126
Total Participant Hours 504
DataShop Log data soon to be uploaded and available in the DataShop


This project investigates the possible combined strengths of graphically-oriented (Animation Tutor) and procedurally-oriented (Cognitive Tutor) instructional software. Students in Algebra II Cognitive Tutor classrooms are randomly assigned to one of four instructional groups on constructing equations for mixture problems. Three of the instructional groups study worked examples in which they received a verbal explanation of the solution with quantities represented by either (1) a table of values, (2) a static bar graph, or (3) a dynamic bar graph linked to the equation. The fourth group solve the same example problems using the Algebra Cognitive Tutor. Each of the example problems are followed by a test problem on the Algebra Cognitive Tutor that serves to both evaluate the different instructional conditions and provide additional opportunities for learning. Students enter quantities into a table and use these quantities (following feedback) to construct an equation to represent the problem. Two days of instruction are followed a week later, by (1) a Model Analysis Cognitive Tutor activity in which students are tested (with feedback) on their ability to construct equations for different problem structures and interpret the meaning of the terms in the equations; and (2) a paper-and-pencil test to measure retention and transfer. This variety of evaluation measures will help in identify how the different instructional formats help students learn the various knowledge components needed to construct equations for problems represented by general linear models.

An extended summary of the study design is in this pdf ...Media:ReedHoffmanCorbettWorkExSummary.pdf

Background & Significance


Research questions

Planned experiments



Further Information


Annotated Bibliography


Future Plans