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Using reflective text to improve qualitative physics tutoring
by Arthur Ward; Diane Litman
International Journal of Learning Technology (IJLT), Vol. 8, No. 4, 2013


Abstract: In this work, we test whether administering an abstractive/reflective reading after physics tutoring will improve learning. The reading helps students compare similar aspects of previously tutored physics problems, and to abstract their commonalities. Either a non-reflective control reading, or one of two reflective readings with differing levels of textual cohesion, was administered to 99 students after tutoring with the Itspoke qualitative physics tutoring system. We found that reflective/abstractive text significantly improved learning for students with a moderate amount of motivation. We further found that high cohesion improved learning, but only for students with a sufficiently high level of prior knowledge. We interpret these results to mean that a reflective/abstractive text can usefully improve learning after tutoring with a physics tutoring system. However, this intervention may be most useful for students with low enough motivation not to spontaneously reflect, but not so low that they will not reflect when prompted.

Online publication date: Tue, 04-Feb-2014


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