University of Tasmania
whole_BuxtonColleenJoyce1982_thesis.pdf (5.67 MB)

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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posted on 2023-05-27, 06:32 authored by Buxton, Colleen Joyce
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.


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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). 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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