Path choice

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Path Choice. Which paths are students taking in the normal or control instruction? Which paths are they taking in the experimental instruction or treatment? Does this tell us anything in general about how to get students to take paths that they should take?

Example: Start

  1. Student applies a shallow strategy, e.g., guessing or copying from a hint.
    1. The entry is correct 􀃆 Exit, with little learning
    2. The entry is incorrect and the tutor gives a hint => Start
  2. The student tries to apply a deep strategy (and the tutor requires typed, abstract directions):
    1. The entry is correct 􀃆 Exit, with learning
    2. The entry is incorrect and the tutor gives a hint => Start
  3. The student tries to apply a deep strategy (and the tutor requires drawn, concrete directions):
    1. The entry is correct 􀃆 Exit, with learning
    2. The entry is incorrect and the tutor gives a hint => Start

Which tutoring system causes more students to choose the deep paths (2 or 3) as opposed to the shallow path (1)? When students must type in abstract directions, it is probably hard to guess a correct answer. Nonetheless, students who are determined to avoid learning (i.e., to exit via 1.1) can deliberately make mistakes, thus eliciting more and more hints from the tutoring system, and eventually getting a hint that tells them exactly what to type in. But then they must type it. This all takes some time and effort, so students may soon decide that it is just easier to try to recall the appropriate knowledge. Thus, it seems likely that typing abstract descriptions decreases exits via 1.1. If this were the only consideration, then typing abstract descriptions should cause more learning than drawing concrete directions.