Why and for whom does personalizing math problems enhance performance? Testing the mediation of enjoyment and cognitive load at different ability levels
SourceLearning and Individual Differences, 87, (2021), article 101982
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SW OZ BSI OLO
Learning and Individual Differences
SubjectLearning and Plasticity
In two context personalization studies, we examined (a) enjoyment and cognitive load as two potential mechanisms explaining the effects of context personalization on mathematical word problem performance, and (b) whether individual differences in math, reading and working memory ability moderated these effects. In both studies (Study 1: N = 238; Study 2: N = 149) primary school students from 6th grade completed math word problems in either a personalized condition or a control condition. Students rated their enjoyment and experienced cognitive load after each problem. Moderated mediation models showed that while ability, enjoyment and cognitive load significantly predicted performance, (a) personalization did not affect word problem performance, enjoyment or cognitive load, and (b) the three different abilities did not moderate these relations. The findings are discussed in light of three personalization principles (depth, grain size, ownership) and complexity in different steps of math problem solving.
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