|M.Sc Student||Adi Luria|
|Subject||On the Decision to Practice Basic Math Skills|
|Department||Department of Industrial Engineering and Management||Supervisor||Full Professor Erev Ido|
Previous studies of the effect of immediate feedback on learning reveal inconsistent findings. Whereas most field studies demonstrate the value of immediate feedback (see Kulik & Kulik , 1988), most direct laboratory studies document a positive effect of delayed feedback (see Schmidt & Bjork, 1992; Schmidt, Young, Swinnen & Shapiro, 1989). The current research suggests that this inconsistency can be resolved with the assertion that immediate feedback triggers two somewhat obvious but important positive effects, and two cognitively interesting negative effects. The positive effects involve the decision to practice, and the association of outcomes with there causes. That is, immediate feedback increases practice and facilitates understanding of the relationship between actions and their results. The cognitively interesting effects are captured by the guidance hypothesis (see Schmidt et al., 1989): Immediate feedback can lead to reliance on information that is not available during transfer, and to less careful behavior. Under this logic the apparent inconsistency is a result of the fact that most direct studies controlled the boring effects, and focused on the cognitively interesting effects. The current research evaluates this assertion in the context of long division. Two studies investigated the effects of immediate feedback on the practice of long division skills using a computerized long division tutor. Study 1 proposed that the motivating effects of immediate feedback would be sufficient to facilitate the positive effects of immediate feedback on learning. Thus, practice time was left uncontrolled. Results suggest that the positive and negative effects of immediate feedback essentially cancelled each other out: subjects in the immediate feedback condition indeed practiced more but made more errors than subjects using the delayed feedback tutor. Study 2 was designed to investigate the implications of these effects in a transfer environment. Concurrent with the positive and negative effects suggested for immediate feedback, results show a significant interaction between transfer test type and feedback timing.