The Effects of Instructional Environments and Cognitive Abilities on Abstraction Performance
Keywords:Computer science education, Teaching abstraction, Puzzle based learning, Working memory, Logical reasoning
Abstraction is one of the building blocks in computer science (CS) and is described as omitting details and focusing on the necessary information. One of the approaches in teaching CS is puzzle based learning (PBL) approach which models problem solving process. Individual differences, on the other hand, exist as a mere fact in learning. Therefore, when designing instructional materials, it is essential to understand the interaction between individual differences along with the teaching paradigms. The first aim of this research is to investigate how students’ working memory capacities (WMCs) and different learning environments based on puzzle based learning affect students’ abstraction performance. 2X2 factorial design was utilized in the study. The second aim of the study was to investigate whether students’ logical reasoning capacities (LRCs) and abstraction ability capacities (AACs), in each learning environments, had an effect on students’ abstraction performances when their WMCs were controlled. According to the results of the research it was found that students’ gender, abstraction skills and the learning environments had no effect on students’ learning performances. In the other hand; the students with higher working memory capacities versus the students with low working memory capacities; the students with higher and medium logical reasoning level versus the students with lower logical reasoning level were found to have significantly higher learning performance. Also it was seen that logical reasoning levels of the students had predicted the learning performance but working memory performances of the students had not.
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