Abstract: According to constructivism, learning takes place by constructing cognitive structures. An experiment was carried out to uncover the mental models of experienced, but not professional, users of a word processor. The study shows that the mental models are superficial, and that bricolage (trial-and-error) is extensively used even though it is not viable for solving non- trivial problems. The conclusion is that conceptual models must be explicitly taught contrary to the task-oriented approach of minimalism.
PPIG 1999 - 11th Annual Workshop