TEACHING DECISION RULES VIA WORKED EXAMPLES
Hacettepe University (TURKEY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Complex decision making situations that require choosing an option among a set of alternatives incorporate ranking, classifying and comparing alternatives based on specific criteria or goals. Individuals, consciously or unconsciously, use a set of decision strategies or rules in order to select an option that meets their needs. Choosing the best option necessitates the use of normative decision rules or strategies and this requires having the knowledge and skills of applying appropriate decision rules in different decision making tasks (Baron, 2000; Bruine de Bruin, Parker, & Fischhoff, 2007) While existing research has focused on identifying which decision rules individuals apply and how they use these rules in differing decision situations (Newell & Shanks, 2003; Payne & Bettman, 2004; Payne, Bettman, & Johnson, 1993; Payne, 1976), there is lack of studies in the literature regarding design interventions on teaching students how to use decision rules. However, applying effective instructional methods in order to teach decision rules will have a great potential to improve learners’ decision making skills. One effective instructional method that can be used to help students learn about decision rules is the worked example method, which is based on cognitive load theory. There is an extensive amount of research illustrating the effectiveness of worked examples on helping students, especially novices, acquire complex cognitive skills such as problem solving, and argumentation (Atkinson, Derry, Renkl, & Wortham, 2000; Nievelstein, van Gog, van Dijck, & Boshuizen, 2013; Renkl, Hilbert, & Schworm 2009; Sweller, Van Merriënboer, & Paas 1998). Although worked examples have been used in different domains in a variety of forms (i.e., text based in face to face environments or video models presented in online environments), researchers suggest that a set of principles be followed to design effective worked examples (Atkinson & Renkl, 2007; Atkinson, Renkl, & Merrill, 2003; Renkl 2002). These fundamental design principles that all worked examples share include self-explanation effect, split-attention effect, fading effect and so on. This study presents the design process of an online learning environment created based on worked example method to help college students learn about decision rules. First, we will provide a brief introduction on existing design principles of worked examples based on literature. Then, we will explain which specific principles were applied in designing the online learning environment presented in this paper and why we chose those principles. After presenting the general structure of the online environment, we will elaborate on an example of an online worked example designed to teach a specific decision rule.
Keywords: decision rules, worked example, instructional design