Interaction of Instructional Material Order and Subgoal Labels on Learning in Programming


Subgoal labeled expository instructions and worked examples have been shown to positively impact student learning and performance in computer science education. This study examined whether problem solving performance differed based on the order of expository instructions and worked examples and the presence of subgoal labels within the instructions for creating applications (Apps) for phones. Participants were 132 undergraduates. A significant interaction showed that when learners were presented with the worked example followed by the expository instructions containing subgoal labels, the learner was better at outlining the procedure for creating an application. However, the manipulations did not affect novel problem solving performance or explanations of solutions. These results suggest that some limited benefit can be gained from presenting a worked example before expository instructions when subgoal labels are included.

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