The effects of conceptual tempo and learning styles on the reflective thinking and decision making of principals in a multimedia case simulation



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Texas Tech University


Multimedia-based case simulation programs provide program users with case-based dilemmas of practice using multimedia and computer-based design elements. Case-based dilemmas provide individuals with an opportunity to bridge theory with practice. They allow individuals to develop reflective thinking and problem solving skills needed for effective decision making. Experiences gained from problems encountered in casebased dilemmas prove invaluable because they can be interfaced with individuals' knowledge bases and previous experiences (Kowalski, 1995). The design of the case simulation prototype program used in this study applies a "technology-integrated, case-based design to help school leaders better scrutinize the complex leadership challenges they face in the day-today managing and leading of schools" (Claudet, 1998b, p. 338) .

The purpose of this study was to examine the technology-cognition connection of a multimedia-based case simulation program. The case simulation program was designed for principals and administrators. The effects of related cognitive styles on participants' knowledge application and specific decision-making tasks that occur during the case simulation process were examined. This study was conducted to determine if cognitive styles help predict the decision making task performances of case simulation participants and if appropriate experiential outcomes of the targeted users of the case simulation prototype program were attained.