De effecten van externe cognitieve stimuli en individuele voorkeuren op het probleemoplossen in de onderwijstechnologie
07 / 2003 - onbekend
This project is aimed at providing theoretical argumentation and empirical evidence for the following thesis: innovative expertise for solving complex problem in the domain of educational technology is not automatic but rather a constructed and controlled process of applying supportive cues. Supportive cues are external cognitive tools designed by people to stimulate specific mental activities that make solving of complex educational technology problem an effective and efficient process. This study introduces supportive cues as concrete problem solving techniques that facilitate educational technologists to realize their full potential of experts in analyzing deeply and comprehensively problem situations, generating alternative solutions, selecting the most appropriate among them, and implementing it in practice. In the project, a difference is made between well-defined and ill-structured problems, from one side, and routine and innovative expertise, from another. The experience of working on some OTEC projects identifies the issue as the tendency of applying routine expertise on ill-structured educational technology problems. A pattern is recognized as some instantiations of the same issue are found across a large scope of professional domains: instructional design (Jonassen, Yueh, & Samouilova, 2000; Kirschner & Merriënboer, 1999); software design (Arlow & Neustadt, 2001; Constantine, 2001; Larman, 2001; Stahl, 1993; Tekinerdogan, 2000; Willer and Sommerville, 1997); management (Block 2000; Checkland & Scholes, 1990; Clarke & Clegg, 2000; Davenport & Prusak, 2000; Heiden & Eden, 1998; Hicks, 1993; Schein, 1999), and engineering (Cross, 2000). In addition this trend has been reported in the results of representative surveys conducted by three of the biggest Internet research agencies (Gartner group 2002, Forester research, 2002, and Standish group, 2003). Routine expertise is conceptualized by the cognitive processes of schemata assimilation or automatic sequential schemata retrieval (Rumelhart, Smolensky, McClelland & Hinton, 1988). Routine expertise activates sequences of dominant spreading activations (Quillian, 1988; Anderson, 1983) through the structure of schemata. There is always a dominant pattern of these mental components that determines the way one perceives and organizes information in a problem solving situation (De Bono, 1994). Routine expertise may lead to some negative problem solving syndromes: premature judgment, functional fixedness, problem set, and sequential searching. Innovative expertise is conceptualized by the process of schemata accommodation or controlled process of parallel schemata retrieval. Several parallel processes (Holyoak, 1991; Keane & Eysenck, 2000) of spreading activation through the elements of the schemata are proceeded. These spreading activation channels suggest different directions of analysis or could be alternative solutions to problem. Controlled process of schemata retrieval needs and requires applying of supportive cues. While the project recognizes different types of cues (visual, process, content, personalized, discourse), it is focused mainly to direct and remote content cues. Direct cues (attribute association chain technique) stimulate idea generation strictly bounded to the concepts constituting the original formulation of a problem. Remote cues (analogy technique) initially use stimuli (words or pictures) that are not directly related to a problem or initiate excursion to other professional domains, or spheres of personal interests in order to evoke inspiration. It facilitates idea generation as mapping problem under consideration with those domains. In addition, the project identifies some individual differences (Craik & Lockhart, 1990; Guilford, 1967; Hermann, 1996; Keirsey & Bates, 1998; Kirton, 1994 ) of the process of schemata retrieval, which are conceptualized as problem solving preferences. They are defined as adaptor and innovator problem solving styles (Kirton, 1994). Within the theoretical framework of schemata assimilation versus schemata accommodation three research questions are formulated. They are as follows: 1. What is the general effect of supportive cues versus no supportive cues on the production of ideas in the situation of complex problem solving in the domain of educational technology? 2. Is there any differential effect of direct supportive cues versus remote supportive cues on various characteristics of idea generation given situation of ill-structured educational technology problem solving? 3. Is there any interaction effect of types of supportive cues and problem solving preferences on production of ideas of ill-structured educational technology problem solving? To find answers of these research questions in the framework of the project two experiments are planned. The first one is to determine the existence of general effect (supportive cues v/s no supportive cues) and differential effect (direct supportive cues v/s remote supportive cues) on idea production of educational technology problem solving and attitudes of experimental subjects. It establishes a pre-test/post-test design with randomly assigned one control (no cues) and two experimental (direct cues v/s remote cues) groups. The second experiment is factorial. It is aimed at investigating the interaction effect of types of cues (direct v/s remote) and problem solving styles (adaptors v/s innovators) on idea production and attitudes of experimental subjects. While this synopsis presents an extended summary of the project, the Elaboration part of the document provides more details concerning the conceptual and the experimental design of the study.