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A problem shared is learning doubled : deliberative processing in dyads improves learning in complex dynamic decision-making tasks.

Beckmann, N. and Beckmann, J.F. and Birney, D. P. and Wood, R. E. (2015) 'A problem shared is learning doubled : deliberative processing in dyads improves learning in complex dynamic decision-making tasks.', Computers in human behaviour., 48 . pp. 654-662.


Whilst micro-worlds or simulations have increasingly been used in higher education settings, students do not always benefit as expected from these learning opportunities. By using an experimental-control group design we tested the effectiveness of structuring the task environment so as to encourage learners to approach simulations more systematically. Seventy-one professionals who participated in a postgraduate-level management program worked on a management simulation either individually (n = 35) or in dyads (n = 36) while exploring the simulation (exploration phase). Peer interactions in the shared learning condition were structured so that learners were encouraged to employ hypothesis testing strategies. All participants then completed the simulation again individually so as to demonstrate what they had learned (performance phase). Baseline measures of cognitive ability and personality were also collected. Learners who explored the simulation in the shared learning condition outperformed their counterparts who explored the simulation individually. A simple manipulation of the way learners interacted with the simulation facilitated learning. Improved deliberation is discussed as a potential cause of this effect, preliminary evidence is provided. This study lends further evidence that the effectiveness of learning using simulations is co-determined by characteristics of the learning environment.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Simulations, Hypothesis testing, Adult learning, Learning environment, Learner dyads.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Computers in Human Behavior. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Computers in Human Behavior, 48, July 2015, 10.1016/j.chb.2015.01.052.
Date accepted:12 January 2015
Date deposited:10 February 2015
Date of first online publication:05 March 2015
Date first made open access:No date available

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