Publications & Resources

Characterizing Trainees in the Cognitive Phase using the Human Performance Knowledge Mapping Tool (HPKMT) and Microgenetic Analysis

Sep 2006

Girlie C. Delacruz, Gregory K. W. K. Chung, and William L. Bewley

Models of skill acquisition suggest that learners go through three phrases: (1) cognitive phase—when instruction is most effective, errors are frequent, and performance is inconsistent; (2) associative phase—when the learner begins to integrate the parts of the process or domain as a whole, and errors are gradually eliminated; and (3) autonomous phase—when the process becomes more automatic and less moderated by cognition, and there is less interference from outside distracters. In this paper, we will examine the use of the CRESST Human Performance Knowledge Mapping Tool (HPKMT) to characterize learners in the cognitive phase using Marine Corps 2nd Lieutenants going through entry-level marksmanship training. The capability to characterize learners may direct the level of instruction or practice they are given. HPKMT is designed to measure a learner’s knowledge of a domain. Learners express their understanding of a domain by graphically depicting the relations among concepts. Further, the microgenetic analysis methodology provides a finer picture of the learning process by using repeated observations throughout the period of change giving detailed analysis of how and when change occurs. By measuring Marines’ knowledge of marksmanship during classroom training, dry-fire practice, live-fire practice, and after qualification, we will have observations of their performance on the HPKMT at key stages of their learning. Our results suggest that the HPKMT can identify four types of learners in the cognitive phase: (1) growing, (2) declining, (3) stable, and (4) inconsistent. The HPKMT is also sensitive to instruction such that the mean difference between expert content scores on the knowledge maps are significantly different from those expert content scores on subsequent days.

Delacruz, G. C., Chung, G. K. W. K., & Bewley, W. L. (2006). Characterizing trainees in the cognitive phase using the Human Performance Knowledge Mapping Tool (HPKMT) and microgenetic analysis (CSE Report 699). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).