Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Loh, Christian


The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a simulation with workedexamples on the creation of episodic memories and the troubleshooting ability of maintenance technician students. Previous research shows that domain knowledge, conceptual knowledge, strategic knowledge, and episodic memories are all required to successfully troubleshoot. While domain, conceptual, and strategic knowledge can all be taught using traditional instruction, episodic memories require students to experience the actual troubleshooting of a fault. Simulations and worked examples are two instructional methods that have proven effective at teaching troubleshooting. This research specifically examined how a simulation combined with worked examples would affect 1) immediate troubleshooting abilities, 2) the creation of episodic memories, and 3) delayed troubleshooting abilities. This study was conducted in two stages and administered via a learning management system due to COVID-19 restrictions. The first stage included a pre-test, a training session using the simulation with worked examples, and an immediate post-test for near and far transfer of troubleshooting abilities. The second stage occurred one week later and included the final posttest for near and far transfer of troubleshooting abilities and creation of episodic memories. Answers to four troubleshooting questions on each of the pre-test and immediate and delayed post-tests were collected to determine any differences in the immediate and retained troubleshooting abilities. Answers to the solution mapping questions were collected to determine the creation of episodic memories. A repeated measure analysis of variance was conducted in SPSS to analyze the results of the troubleshooting pre- and post-tests. A correlational coefficient was used to determine any interaction between episodic memories and delayed troubleshooting abilities. Previous experience levels and participants’ major of study were also examined to determine their effect on the results. The findings show the simulation with worked examples had a statistically significant effect on delayed troubleshooting abilities and the created episodic memories had a positive correlation with the delayed troubleshooting, both with a medium effect size. However, the simulation with worked examples had no statistically significant effect on immediate troubleshooting abilities. Levels of previous experience and participants’ major of study had little effect on the results.




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