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THE EFFECTS OF PERCEPTUAL AND EMBODIED FEATURES ON STUDENT LEARNING AND PERFORMANCE IN ONLINE PLATFORMS Public

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Thinking and learning are inherently tied to our perceptual processes and physical experiences in the world, yet this connection is typically underutilized in education and educational tools. As educational technologies are developed to support student learning, their design should be informed by theory and evidence to optimize the instructional support that students receive. The purpose of this work is to advance cognitive theories of learning and provide recommendations for researchers, teachers, and content developers to leverage students’ perceptual processes and body-based resources in online instructional materials for math education. Specifically, this dissertation includes three studies that demonstrate how subtle perceptual and embodied features may be feasibly implemented in online instructional materials and how those features impact students’ reasoning, performance, and learning in arithmetic and algebra. First, this dissertation describes the effects of spatial proximity between operands in order-of-operation problems on student performance. Second, this dissertation explores the relation between spatial proximity in notation, students’ inhibitory control, and problem-solving performance. Finally, this dissertation describes how worked examples with different degrees of student interaction impact learning in online settings. Together, this body of work provides insights as to how cognitive theories may be leveraged in online learning environments by designing perceptual scaffolds and embodied features in instructional materials for math education.

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  • etd-63381
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  • 2022
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  • 2022-04-25
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Permanent link to this page: https://digital.wpi.edu/show/sf2688339