How to measure the behavioural and cognitive complexity of learning processes in man-machine systems

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    A framework to conceptualize measures of behaviour complexity (BC), system complexity (SC) and task complexity (TC) was developed. From this framework cognitive complexity (CC) is derived as CC=SC+TC-BC. A learning experiment was carried out to investigate the development of mental structures. Six subjects were carefully instructed to operate a commercial database management system (DBMS). The long-term knowledge about general DBMS and computer experience was measured with a questionnaire once at the beginning of the investigation. On three weeks in a row all subjects had to solve the same task twice repeated in an individual session, overall there are six solutions of the same task. At the beginning of each of the three individual sessions the short-term knowledge about the task and the tool was measured with a short questionnaire. With the special analysing program AMME the logical structure of each empirically observed task solving process was extracted. This logical structure is given as a Petri net. The behavioural complexity (BC) of this net structure can be measured with the McCabe measure. With our framework the cognitive complexity (CC) can be derived from the empirically gained BC. The main results are: the time structure and BC measure different aspects of the learning process; the time structure is overall positively correlated with BC and negatively correlated with CC; and the long-term and short-term knowledge has an increasing predictive power with the time structure, but not with BC and CC
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEducational multimedia and hypermedia, 1996 : proceedings of ED-MEDIA 96- : World Conference on Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, Boston, Mass., USA ; June 17-22, 1996
    Place of PublicationCharlottesville, VA, USA
    PublisherAssociation for the Advancement of Computing in Education
    ISBN (Print)1880094215
    Publication statusPublished - 1996


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