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Erroneous examples: Effects on learning fractions in a web-based setting.

Dimitra Tsovaltzi; Erica Melis; Bruce McLaren
In: International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning (IJTEL), Vol. 4, Pages 191-230, Inderscience Publishers,, Geneva, SWITZERLAND, 2012.


Learning from errors can be a key 21st century competence, especially for informal learning where such metacognitive skills are a prerequisite. We investigate whether, how and when web-based interactive erroneous examples promote such competence, and increase understanding of fractions and learning outcomes. Erroneous examples present students with common errors or misconceptions. Three studies were conducted with students of different grade levels. We compared the cognitive, metacognitive, conceptual, and transfer learning outcomes of three conditions: a control condition (problem solving), a condition that learned with erroneous examples without help, and a condition that learned with erroneous examples with error detection and correction support. Our results indicate significant metacognitive learning gains of erroneous examples with help for 6th-graders. They also show cognitive and conceptual learning gains for 9th and 10th-graders when additional help is provided. No effects were found for 7th-graders. We discuss the implications of our findings for instructional design.o.A.