• Active Learning;
  • Enactive Mastery;
  • Self-Efficacy;
  • and Vicarious Experience


Computing technology augments learning in education in a number of ways. One particular method uses interactive programs to demonstrate complex concepts. The purpose of this article is to examine one type of interactive learning technology, the transparent engine. The transparent engine allows instructors and students to view and directly interact with educational concepts such as Web-enabled software development. The article first presents a framework describing transparent engines. The framework details four types of transparent engines: (1) enactive mastery/manipulatable, (2) enactive mastery/nonmanipulatable, (3) vicarious experience/manipulatable, and (4) vicarious experience/nonmanipulatable. Following this, we present the results of an experiment designed to examine this framework by testing its predictions for one quadrant, vicarious experience/nonmanipulatable. The results support the framework in that students taught concepts with the aid of the vicarious experience/nonmanipulatable transparent engine had significantly higher domain-specific self-efficacy compared to those taught the same concepts without this tool.