The effects of different forms of feedback on fuzzy and verbatim memory of science principles

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Background. Previous models of the effects of feedback account for lower-order learning outcomes but do not adequately describe experimental findings for higher-order learning. Aims. Based on a connectionist model of feedback effects, this investigation aims to show that feedback that allows only one learner response facilitates proposition-specific verbatim encoding, while feedback that requires the learner to try again on error facilitates relational fuzzy encoding. Sample and methods. Volunteer high school students were randomly assigned to one of 5 print-based lesson treatments that consisted of four science expository texts with adjunct inference-level questions covering science principles. The five treatments included delayed feedback, single-try immediate feedback, multiple-try immediate feedback, and two control treatments, questions without feedback, and text only. A post-test given 5 days after instruction was designed to measure both verbatim and fuzzy outcomes. Results. Multiple-try immediate feedback was best for paraphrased post-test questions (fuzzy) and worse for verbatim post-test questions. Conclusions. Fuzzy trace theory complements a connectionist model of feedback, and may provide a fruitful approach for describing the effects of feedback on different learning outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-270
Number of pages12
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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