Intelligent Model-Based Feedback: Helping Learners to Monitor their Individual Learning Progress

Intelligent Model-Based Feedback: Helping Learners to Monitor their Individual Learning Progress

Dirk Ifenthaler (University of Mannheim, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-842-2.ch006
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Automated knowledge assessment methodologies provide the technological background for producing instant feedback at all times during the learning process. It is expected that the availability of such individual, dynamic, and timely feedback supports the learner’s self-regulated learning. This chapter provides the theoretical background for an intelligent feedback approach and introduces two automated model-based feedback tools: TASA (Text-Guided Automated Self Assessment) and iGRAF (Instant Graphical Feedback). The chapter concludes with a discussion of the two feedback approaches and future research directions.
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Theoretical Background

The large body of theoretical and empirical studies on feedback provides very diverse insight into possible ways to support and regulate learning processes. Even meta-analyses (Azevedo & Bernard, 1995; Kluger & DeNisi, 1996; Schimmel, 1983) have provided contradictory results. However, feedback is considered to be an elementary component for facilitating learning outcomes. As feedback can take on many forms depending on the theoretical perspective, the role of feedback, and the methodological approach, it is important to consider which form of feedback is effective for a specific learning environment.

Informative feedback refers to all kinds of external post-response information used to inform the learner of his or her current state of learning or performance (Narciss, 2006, 2008). Furthermore, from an instructional point of view, feedback can be provided by internal (individual cognitive monitoring processes) or external (various types of correction variables) sources of information. Internal feedback may validate the externally provided feedback, or it may lead to resistance against it (Narciss, 2008). However, the empirical evidence regarding the effects of different types of feedback is rather inconsistent and somewhat contradictory (e.g., Bangert-Drowns, et al., 1991; Clariana, 1993; Kluger & DeNisi, 1996; Kulhavy, 1977; Mory, 2004).

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