Journal article

How Difficult is the Task for you? Modelling and Analysis of Students' Task Difficulty Sequences in a Simulation-Based POE Environment

Sadia Nawaz, Namrata Srivastava, Ji Hyun Yu, Anam Ahmad Khan, Gregor Kennedy, James Bailey, Ryan Shaun Baker



Task difficulty (TD) reflects students' subjective judgement on the complexity of a task. We examine the TDs data of 236 undergraduate students in a simulation-based Predict-Observe-Explain (POE) environment using three different labels easy, medium and hard. Generally, the students who perceive the tasks to be easy or hard perform poorly at the transfer task than the students who perceive the tasks to be medium or moderately difficult. Sequences of students' TDs are analysed which consist of a set of several judgements, collected once for each task in a POE sequence. The analysis suggests that given a sequence of TDs, difficulty level hard followed by a hard may lead to poorer learning outc..

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Funding Acknowledgements

We wish to thank Prof. Arial Anbar, Dr Lev Horodyskyj and Dr Chris Mead for providing us with the Habitable Worlds data for this research. We thank Dr Linda Corrin and Donia Malekian for the useful discussion on this work. We are also thankful to the anonymous reviewers for their time and valuable feedback on this paper. The quality of this manuscript has improved because of their insightful suggestions. This research is supported by the Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship, Melbourne Research Scholarship and the Science of Learning Research Center (SLRC) top-up scholarship.