Studying the Effects of Personalized Language and Worked Examples in the Context of a Web-Based Intelligent Tutor

Previous studies have demonstrated the learning benefit of personalized language and worked examples. However, previous investigators have primarily been interested in how these interventions support students as they problem solve with no other cognitive support. We hypothesized that personalized language added to a web-based intelligent tutor and worked examples provided as complements to the tutor would improve student (e- )learning. However, in a 2 x 2 factorial study, we found that personalization and worked examples had no significant effects on learning. On the other hand, there was a significant difference between the pretest and posttest across all conditions, suggesting that the online intelligent tutor present in all conditions did make a difference in learning. We conjecture why personalization and, especially, the worked examples did not have the hypothesized effect in this preliminary experiment, and discuss a new study we have begun to further investigate these effects.

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