A Formative Evaluation of the PACT Algebra II Tutor: Support for Simple Hierarchical Reasoning
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This paper reports a formative analysis of a principal interface tool in the PACT Algebra II Tutor (PAT2). PAT2 employs modern computational tools to support student reasoning about real-world problem situations. This paper examines a curriculum section on general linear form equations and evaluates the effectiveness of a worksheet tool in reifying the hierarchical structure of the problem situations. Performance analyses suggest that the worksheet effectively supports students in mapping from natural language situations to hierarchical symbolic structures, and that this accounts for the preponderance of observed learning gains. Analyses also suggest that students incur a performance cost in using the worksheet and that the worksheet might be deployed more efficiently in problem solving.
KeywordsProblem Situation Solution Path Hierarchical Representation Cognitive Tutor Posttest Performance
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