An Explorative Study of Search of Model Space in Problem Solving

TitelAn Explorative Study of Search of Model Space in Problem Solving
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsKistener, S., Burns B., Vollmeyer R., & Kortenkamp U.

Building on dual-space theories, the three-space theory of problem solving suggests to add search of a model space in addition to search of experiment and hypothesis space. This study aimed at exploring the three postulated spaces, especially model space, by means of verbal protocols. Participants (n=32) were asked to think aloud while working with a computer based learning program. With this program they could learn about torques in physics using interactive graphics in which experiments with levers and forces could be conducted. Their knowledge about torques was tested before and after working with the program. Verbal protocols were analyzed with regard to the amount of search of the three spaces and regarding the quality of the participants' models for torques. The three postulated spaces could be reliably identified in the protocols. For validity, the model quality score was related to performance and predicted final knowledge beyond prior knowledge. Our results add to the validity of model space and allow us to derive more specific hypotheses from the three-space theory.

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