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Formally assessing an instructional tool: a controlled experiment in software engineering

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4 Author(s)
Karoulis, A. ; Dept. of Informatics, Aristotle Univ. of Thessaloniki, Greece ; Stamelos, I.G. ; Angelis, L. ; Pombortsis, A.S.

This work describes a controlled experiment concerning the use of a learning aid during the instructional procedure. The core issue of investigation is whether this instructional aid can augment the cognitive transfer of the learners by personalizing the offered knowledge. For this purpose, a controlled experiment was conducted with the participation of 79 undergraduate students. The taught domain was two lessons concerning human-computer interaction: the first in usability engineering and the second in interface evaluation methodologies. A test session was also conducted to collect data on the assessment of the augmentation of the students' knowledge on the domain. Descriptive and inferential statistics were applied to the collected data to test the research hypotheses. The results showed that with regard to the transfer of simple information, this "lesson sheet" does not provide any statistically significant advantage, yet for complex information, a significant statistically improved performance was observed for the student group that used the tool. Finally, concerns about the application of the tool and further research in the area are also presented.

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Education, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:48 ,  Issue: 1 )