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The adapted split attention effect: the learning effects of presenting task and answer sheet in split format

By C. Goedee


The learning effects of splitting a learner’s attention between the task and answer sheet were investigated among 45 Dutch first year secondary school students, both during and after learning processes. It was hypothesized that presenting the task and answer sheet separately imposes a higher cognitive load upon a learner’s working memory and results in less efficient and effective learning compared to presenting the task and answer sheet integrated during learning processes. It is thought that the split format hinders learning because it imposes an unwanted load on a learner’s working memory caused by the need to overcome the psychical separation of the task and answer sheet. Consequently, it was hypothesized that learning with the split format results in a schema of lesser quality and therefore students need to devote more cognitive processes, are less efficient and effective after learning as opposed to students who learned the knowledge with the integrated format. Neither of the two hypotheses could be confirmed because none of the results approached significance. Effect sizes were found for mental effort measures during and after learning processes. However, the measured means of the variables were interesting because they were in the opposite direction than was hypothesized

Topics: Sociale Wetenschappen, cognitive load, split attention effect, mental effort, performance, learning efficiency, transfer efficiency, learning effectiveness, transfer effectiveness
Year: 2012
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