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Auto-instructional aids : a comparison of covert with overt self-correcting feedback in the acquisition of association responses by normal infant school children


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Buxton, Colleen Joyce 1982 , 'Auto-instructional aids : a comparison of covert with overt self-correcting feedback in the acquisition of association responses by normal infant school children', Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The study compared two types of self-correcting feedback commonly
found in so-called auto-instructional aids intended to facilitate
the acquisition of association responses in young children. To study
this effect two manually operated aids, differing only on the
covertness or overtness of a physical linkage clue (as in a jigsaw
puzzle), were designed and used in the teaching of eight novel
stimulus pairs. The sample consisted of 24 seven year-old grade one
subjects (12M, 12F) randomly selected from a middle-class socioeconomic
infant school. These were randomly allocated to the four
cells of the study's 2x2 factorial design, independent variables
being type of feedback and sex. Dependent variables were the number
of errors occurring during learning and the number of criterion
responses (6 consecutively correct) to any one stimulus pair during
immediate retention testing or delayed retention testing occurring
24 hours later. An investigatory probe was also conducted into the
time factor during learning. It was hypothesized that more errors
would occur during learning under the covert physical linkage (CPL)
condition than under the overt physical linkage (OPL). It was also
hypothesized that the CPL correcting device would produce more
effective learning than the OPL device when measured during both
immediate and delayed retention testing. No significant sex
difference in learning for both the CPL and OPL conditions was
hypothesized. A 2x2 analysis of variance was applied to the results
of each independent variable. These analyses showed that,
significantly more errors occurred under the CPL condition than
under the OPL condition (p = 0.0000****); the CPL condition produced
significantly more learning than the OPL condition when measured
during immediate retention testing (p = 0.0195*) as well as during delayed retention testing (p = 0.0060**); a significant interaction
effect was evident when measuring learning during immediate retention
testing (p = 0.0382*). This latter effect was a result of learning
by male CPL subjects being significantly higher than that of CPL
females (p = 0.0149*). Probes conducted on the number of errors
during, and time of, each learning trial revealed that female
subjects, while following a similar learning pattern to that of
males, took longer and made more errors initially during the
experiment than males. Possible explanations for this are discussed.
It was concluded that auto-instructional aids containing CPL
feedback facilitate the acquisition of association responses in both
male and female infant school children by forcing attention to the
critical stimuli. The assumption that OPL feedback facilitates such
learning was not supported by this study. The irrelevant stimulus,
the physical linkage clue, was seen as a major distractor to the
learning task as almost no learning occurred under this condition
for both males and females. Some implications were discussed.

Item Type: Thesis - Coursework Master
Authors/Creators:Buxton, Colleen Joyce
Keywords: Feedback (Psychology), Education, Primary, Association of ideas
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1982 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (M.Spec.Ed.)--University of Tasmania, 1982. Title on spine: Covert versus overt feedback in association learning with normal children. Bibliography: l. 106-112

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