The effect of self-explanation and metacognitive scaffolding on learning web programming
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Two studies were conducted to demonstrate the positive effects of principle-based self-explanation on acquiring programming concepts and improving debugging skills in web-based learning environments. The first study, involving 68 college students, investigated effects of self-explanation and metacognitive scaffolding. Students generating more principle-based explanations outperformed in immediate tests as well as transfer tests. However, metacognitive scaffolding given after learning neither affected learning nor supported to generate principle-based explanations. For in-depth understanding of reflection processes, contents of self-explanation on previous learning performance were analyzed in the second study recruiting 21 college students. Conceptual change could be proved by the ratio of principle-based explanations. It was also significantly associated with the learning performance in transfer tests. The studies suggest that the self-explanation strategy can be an effective means to enhance conceptual understanding as well as facilitate conceptual change. The results are applicable to the design of web-based learning environments implementing the self-explanation activities.
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