Learning Electrical Circuits: The Effects of the 4C-ID Instructional Approach in the Acquisition and Transfer of Knowledge

Mario Melo, Guilhermina L. Miranda
Journal of Information Technology Education: Research  •  Volume 14  •  2015  •  pp. 313-337
This study was designed to investigate the effects of two instructional approaches (4C-ID versus conventional) on learners’ knowledge-acquisition and learning transfer of the electrical circuits content in Physics. Participants were 129 9th graders from a secondary school in Lisbon, M = 14.3 years, SD = 0.54. The participants were divided in two groups: an experimental group constituted three intact classes (n = 78); and a control group constituted two intact classes (n = 51). The experimental group was taught using a digital learning environment designed with the 4C-ID model principles while the control group learned the same contents through a conventional method. We assessed the students’ performance (knowledge-acquisition and transfer), the perceived cognitive load, and the instructional efficiency. Results indicated that the experimental group performed significantly better than the control group on a knowledge-acquisition test and in a learning transfer test. They also perceived a less cognitive load in the transfer test and the learning environment developed with the 4C-ID model proved to be more instructional efficient than the conventional method.
4C-ID model, complex learning, electrical circuits, learning tasks, learning transfer
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