Cognitive load, scaffolding and an ils algebra tutor

Norton, Stephen J., Cooper, Thomas J., & McRobbie, Campbell J. (2002) Cognitive load, scaffolding and an ils algebra tutor. In Annual Meeting of the Australian Association for Research in Education, December 2002, Brisbane, Australia.


The support for the use of computers in teaching and learning is widespread. Some educationalist say that the most powerful use of computing technology is as a tool for cognitive amplification or to enable students to explore mathematical concepts, and through this exploration construct mathematical understandings. Others note that the increasing power of computers enables them to exhibit artificial intelligence that can be used as surrogate tutors of mathematics. The most recent of such programs are Integrated Learning Systems (ILS) that present lessons, assess student responses and provide remedial feedback as well as monitor student progress. This study examines how a student used the feedback and cognitive scaffolding potential of a new generation ILS algebra tutor, The Learning Equation, in her learning. It was found that the student did not follow the carefully constructed intended sequence of learning provided by the ILS. However, she used a just-in-time approach to accessing feedback and a reliance on syntactic structure that enabled her to use the software in a way that accounted for most of her cognitive support needs.

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ID Code: 181
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Cognitive load, Scaffolding, Algebra, Computer based education
ISSN: 1324-9339
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Mathematics and Numeracy Curriculum and Pedagogy (130208)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2002 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 10 Jun 2004 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:21

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