But a new study led by Sidney D'Mello of the University of Notre Dame shows that confusion when learning can be beneficial if it is properly induced, effectively regulated, and ultimately resolved.
The study will be published in a forthcoming issue of Learning and Instruction.Notre Dame Psychologist and Computer Scientist D'Mello, whose research areas include artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction and the learning sciences, together with Art Graesser of the University of Memphis, collaborated on the study, which was funded by the National Science Foundation.
"It is also important that the students are productively instead of hopelessly confused. By productive confusion, we mean that the source of the confusion is closely linked to the content of the learning session, the student attempts to resolve their confusion, and the learning environment provides help when the student struggles. Furthermore, any misleading information in the form of confusion-induction techniques should be corrected over the course of the learning session, as was done in the present experiments."
According to D'Mello, the next step in this body of research is to apply these methods to some of the more traditional domains like physics where misconceptions are common.
Sidney D'Mello | EurekAlert!
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