Monday, November 27, 2006

Comprehension and Retention - participation

Paul Murphy's experiment
he provides a document that might require some prior familiarity with the topic. I know this is not in the scope of his experiment, but I am curious to hear how well people feel they retain the information in any of the categories if they are not familiar or comfortable with the content. If you decide to do the experiment, please comment and let me know your impressions.

Further instructions from Mr. Murphy:

Please be aware that we want to end up with roughly equal numbers of people in all four categories, but that most people will find it easier to provide on-screen/immediate responses than on-paper/delayed ones. In other words, please try to recruit some people for each category with special emphasis on the later (more difficult to get) groupings as listed below:

1) on screen, immediate answers
2) on screen, day later answers
3) on paper, immediate answers
4) on paper, day later answers

Being lazy, I chose option 1. I wish he provided feedback so I could see how far off I was with my answers.

I know this is an informal study, and I am proud of myself for not "cheating," but I was strongly tempted to look at the survey, figure out the questions, then read for the answers. A more formal experiment needs to limit access to the quiz until after the subject reads the document.

I do hope someone bites and takes Mr. Murphy's recommendation to formalize this for a grant application. I have always sensed there was a difference between how people read and interpret screens vs. how they read and interpret paper. It would be nice to see formal research on these differences. The resulting research could help us create even better online learning.

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