Graduate Research and Discovery Symposium (GRADS)

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2015


Technology based learning tools are gaining traction in both educational and organizational settings. One of the primary advantages of these tools are that they offers a means for students and employees to practice a skill without safety risks and continue to practice until they obtain the necessary level of proficiency. However, there may be differences in the effectiveness of these tools based on the characteristics of the learner. The purpose of this study is to evaluate how an individual’s performance in a task differs depending on the physical fidelity of the learning tool. Additionally, this research examines the effects of cognitive ability, goal orientation, and motivation on performance. Specifically, this study investigates different methods for practicing building electric circuits using a virtual breadboard environment, a 2D breadboard simulation, and a physical breadboard. The study will also assess how the participants’ level of engagement impact performance outcomes using an electrodermal activity (EDA) device. It is expected that the learning tool will have an impact on task performance that is moderated by learner characteristics. The results of this study will have implications on the design and implementation of technology in both student and employee education.