E. Argelagós & M. Pifarré (2012)
Computers in Human Behavior, 28(2), 515-526 Draft version doi:10.1016/j.chb.2011.10.024
This empirical study consists in an investigation of the effects, on the development of Information Problem Solving (IPS) skills, of a long-term embedded, structured and supported instruction in Secondary Education. Forty secondary students of 7th and 8th grades (13–15 years old) participated in the 2-year IPS instruction designed in this study. Twenty of them participated in the IPS instruction, and the remaining twenty were the control group. All the students were pre- and post-tested in their regular classrooms, and their IPS process and performance were logged by means of screen capture software, to warrant their ecological validity. The IPS constituent skills, the web search sub-skills and the answers given by each
participant were analyzed. The main findings of our study suggested that experimental students showed a more expert pattern than the control students regarding the constituent skill ‘defining the problem’ and the following two web search sub-skills: ‘search terms’ typed in a search engine, and ‘selected results’ from a SERP. In addition, scores of task performance were statistically better in experimental students than in control group students. The paper contributes to the discussion of how well-designed and well-embedded scaffolds could be designed in instructional programs in order to guarantee the development and efficiency of the students’ IPS skills by using net information better and participating fully in the global knowledge society.
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