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Gender and Cognitive Differences in Help Effectiveness During Problem Solving
Beverly P. Woolf, Ivon Arroyo, Carole R. Beale and Tom Murray

We identified gender and cognitive differences in two problem solving tutors developed for K-12 students. Learning results improved once hints were adapted to a student’s basic cognitive skills. For example, students with low cognitive development learned more when they interacted with concrete objects on the screen. Girls spent more time with hints, their perception of the system was more positive and they were more motivated than boys to use the system again. Animation improved learning results by as much as 25% as compared to the system without animation. These gender and cognitive differences are described in this article.

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