Aims: This study sought to explore the use of a novel approach that incorporates dynamic testing and tangible electronics in the assessment of children's learning potential and strategy use.
Sample: A total of 77 children with a mean age 8.9 years participated in the study; half of them were dynamically tested using graduate prompt techniques; the others served as a control group.
Method: Children in the experimental group received a series of inputs consisting of a pre-test, two training sessions, and a post-test all involving a number of series completion tasks; the controls received only pre- and post-tests. All test sessions were undertaken individually using a specially designed programme incorporating an electronic console and tangible materials equipped internally with sensors.
Results: As a consequence of training, children significantly outperformed controls on a number of series completion tasks. Significant individual differences were noted in terms of the children's response to assistance. The study's hypothesis that dynamic testing would increase analytical, and reduce trial-and-error, behaviour was supported. While a significant proportion of the children employed strategies that had earlier been identified as optimal, a sizeable minority demonstrated rather more idiosyncratic approaches.
Conclusions: Findings from the study demonstrate the potential value of electronic dynamic testing using graduated prompts. However, a number of further refinements to improve the procedure are suggested.
©2010 The British Psychological Society.