Computer-based multimedia learning environments — consisting of pictures (such as animation) and words (such as narration) — offer a potentially powerful venue for improving student understanding. How can we use words and pictures to help people understand how scientific systems work, such as how a lightning storm develops, how the human respiratory system operates, or how a bicycle tire pump works? This paper presents a cognitive theory of multimedia learning which draws on dual coding theory, cognitive load theory, and constructivist learning theory. Based on the theory, principles of instructional design for fostering multimedia learning are derived and tested. The multiple representation principle states that it is better to present an explanation in words and pictures than solely in words. The contiguity principle is that it is better to present corresponding words and pictures simultaneously rather than separately when giving a multimedia explanation. The coherence principle is that multimedia explanations are better understood when they include few rather than many extraneous words and sounds. The modality principle is that it is better to present words as auditory narration than as visual on-screen text. The redundancy principle is that it is better to present animation and narration than to present animation, narration, and on-screen text. By beginning with a cognitive theory of how learners process multimedia information, we have been able to conduct focused research that yields some preliminary principles of instructional design for multimedia messages.
One hundred and sixty eight students from five 11th grade chemistry classes participated for 2 months in an experiment that examined the effects of the Group Investigation (GI) method of cooperative learning on students’ achievement, motivation and perceptions of their experience. An achievement test and Harter’s Motivation Questionnaire were administered before and after the experiment. Students from experimental classes also wrote letters telling what they thought about the new method. Middle and low achieving students in the GI classes achieved higher scores, while motivation declined in the experimental group compared to the control group. Students’ letters revealed that 41.7% of the comments were critical, 28.8% were positive, and 29.4% were suggested ways of improving the new method.
Multiple (external) representations can provide unique benefits when people are learning complex new ideas. Unfortunately, many studies have shown this promise is not always achieved. The DeFT (Design, Functions, Tasks) framework for learning with multiple representations integrates research on learning, the cognitive science of representation and constructivist theories of education. It proposes that the effectiveness of multiple representations can best be understood by considering three fundamental aspects of learning: the design parameters that are unique to learning with multiple representations; the functions that multiple representations serve in supporting learning and the cognitive tasks that must be undertaken by a learner interacting with multiple representations. The utility of this framework is proposed to be in identifying a broad range of factors that influence learning, reconciling inconsistent experimental findings, revealing under-explored areas of multi-representational research and pointing forward to potential design heuristics for learning with multiple representations.
Research on collaborative learning, both face-to-face and computer-supported, has thrived in the past 10 years. The studies range from outcome-oriented (individual and group learning) to process-oriented (impact of interaction on learning processes, motivation and organisation of collaboration) to mixed studies. Collaborative learning research is multidisciplinary. This introduces a multitude of theoretical accounts for collaborative learning, accompanied by a broad spectrum of methods to study processes and outcomes of collaboration. This special issue will provide an overview of methods that are at the core of current research effort, but also identifies opportunities and problems to sensibly combine methods into mixed method approaches.
In an attmpt to help both students and teachers to change their traditional roles in the classroom, educational psychologists have engaged in two types of projects. The first project can be condensed to “understanding the dynamics of self-regulated learning”. The second project can be summarized as “understanding the dynamics of powerful learning environments as a way to promote self-regulation in the classroom”. In this essay I attempt to establish the centrality of self-regulation as a theoretical assumption and a fundamental psychological construct. I argue that most current psychological models of self-regulation, and by implication the innovation programs that are based on these models, are not well focused, are incomplete, and harbor many misconceptions. I also argue that educational psychologists need to broaden the way they conceptualize the dynamics of learning contexts and find new ways to study the integrated processes that make up self-regulation in the context of the classroom. My main message is that students bring their own goals to the classroom and that these goals are the key to their adaptation system. These personal goals give meaning and organization, or in other words purpose, to a student’s adaptation processes in the classroom. Some of my comments are critical, but I do not intend to discredit the important work that has been done in this area. Rather, I want to argue that educational psychologists nee to broaden the way they conceptualize the dynamics of learning contexts and find new ways to study the integrated processes that make up self-regulation in teh context of the classroom. Doing so requires not only using a kaleidoscope of teaching methods, but also looking beyond these methods to explore the possibilities of theories that remain marginalized in educational research.
In this paper we argue that argumentation, defined as the generation and evaluation of arguments, is at the core of reasoning and that instruction in argumentation is therefore critical to the development of reasoning skill. Argumentation and its relation to informal reasoning is discussed, followed by consideration of factors that influence argumentation performance, with an account of an expert student reasoner provided. Instruction in argumentation is then considered, with suggestions presented based upon our attempts at such instruction.
We examined the effects of mathematics self-concept (MSC) and MSC calibration on mathematics achievement through multilevel analyses of the mathematics tests and questionnaire responses of 88,590 15-year olds who participated in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). Students with higher MSC or MSC calibration had higher mathematics scores. Students' MSC was more strongly linked to mathematics achievement in countries that were wealthier, more egalitarian, more tolerant of uncertainty, or more flexible regarding gender roles. Calibration of MSC was more strongly linked to mathematics achievement for boys, for low-achievers, and for students in countries that were wealthier, more egalitarian, or more tolerant of uncertainty. Students overestimating their mathematics competence often had low mathematics scores.
This study examines family and motivation effects on student mathematics achievement across 41 countries. The Rasch estimates of PISA mathematics test scores and questionnaire responses of 107,975 15-year-old students were analyzed via multilevel analyses. Students scored higher in richer or more egalitarian countries; when living with two parents, without grandparents, with fewer siblings (especially fewer older siblings); with higher family SES, more books, cultural possessions, or cultural communication; or when they had greater interest in mathematics, more effort and perseverance, and higher self-efficacy or self-concept. Family structure effects were stronger in individualistic or richer countries. Richer countries showed stronger family cultural communication effects, suggesting stronger, intangible resource effects.
The present article discusses the nature of the quantitative-relational system, which involves the basic arithmetic operations, proportional reasoning, algebraic ability, and the integration of these three abilities. Representative sets of tasks that assess each of these abilities were administered to 372 Greek subjects aged 9 to 16 to test hypotheses about (a) the structure and (b) the development of this cognitive system, and (c) about the role of individual differences variables, such as subjects' gender and SES. (a) Structural equations modelling revealed three specific ability factors (execution of arithmetic operations, proportional, and algebraic reasoning) and a higher-order general factor that loaded all specific factors. The higher-order factor may be abolished once the relations between the first order factors are specified. (b) Recently developed techniques (discrimination and rating scale analysis) basically confirmed the developmental levels initially assigned to most of the tasks. More importantly, the tasks pertaining to the different partial abilities could be ordered along a single developmental dimension with items from different abilities intertwined. This intertwining suggested that each ability's development precipitates and is precipitated by the development of the other abilities. (c) The structure of abilities was found not to be affected by individual differences factors. (d) Using the unified developmental scale as a frame of reference, gender and SES differences were found at age points associated with major developmental changes. Implications of these findings for theories of cognitive development and education are discussed within the framework of experiential structuralism.
Educational responses to the wide-spread failure of indigenous children in Westernised schools have not made the desired impact. In Australia, for example, an appropriate elementary education for many Aboriginal children cannot be guaranteed. Suggestions in the psychological literature that Aboriginal children might experience success in programs that value and promote creative thinking, motivated the design of the present study. This study, then, evaluates the effects of a general thinking skills program, de Bono's CoRT (Cognitive Research Trust) Program, which features divergent and creative thinking. The results reveal that the implemented CoRT program can enhance the creative thinking of Aboriginal children in mainstream classrooms, but not their scholastic aptitude, school achievement, thinking approaches, self-concept as a thinker, and internal locus of control. Issues of both implementation strategy, including the infusion of the thinking skills throughout the curriculum, and classroom practice are discussed with a view to enhance the children's success in thinking performance and transfer to other class activities.
Where anthropological and psychological studies have shown that gestures are a central feature of communication and cognition, little is known about the role of gesture in learning and instruction. Drawing from a large database on student learning, we show that when students engage in conversations in the presence of material objects, these objects provide a phenomenal ground against which students can enact metaphorical gestures that embody (give a body to) entities that are conceptual and abstract. In such instances, gestures are often subsequently replaced by an increasing reliance upon the verbal mode of communication. If gestures constitute a bridge between experiences in the physical world and abstract conceptual language, as we conjecture here, our study has significant implications for both learning and instruction.
The construction of a mental representation from a weather map diagram by professional meteorologists and nonmeteorologists was investigated using a series of drawing tasks. Subjects first produced a drawn copy of a weather map diagram onto a blank map of Australia. Conditions during the copying process were controlled to ensure the temporal separation of each subject's viewing and drawing behavior. Following the copying task, subjects completed a control drawing task, after which they produced drawn recall of the weather map they had previously copied. Analysis of the drawings produced and videotaped records of the drawing process indicated that the superior recall of the meteorologists was associated with a qualitatively different approach to the weather map tasks. The meteorologists appeared to have processed the material in terms of high level abstract relations and meteorological generalizations. In contrast, the nonmeteorologists' processing appeared to be derived largely from low level visuo-spatial characteristics of the display. The results were interpreted as evidence of different bases for the construction of a mental representation from the weather map information by the two subject groups.
Students (N = 302) in Chinese elementary schools were assessed regarding their academic delay of gratification (ADOG) and reported the time they devoted to non-school study and playtime during an extended interval prior to taking a high-stakes final exam. Students high compared those low in ADOG were more likely to spend time studying and less time playing several weeks prior to the exam. Growth curve analyses verified, however, that this difference diminished as a function of the temporal proximity to the exam, and that the group differences were non-existent just before the exam. Associations between ADOG and students' academic motivation and use of learning strategies replicated those obtained previously with adults in the USA. Results contribute to the general literatures on volition, homework and the dynamics of conflicting goals and action tendencies.
This study investigated the additive, beneficial effect of regulatory activities on top of verbal, numerical, and diagrammatic intelligence in the prediction of academic performance. About 500 freshmen of different study domains participated in this research. The findings supported both the mixed and the independency model of the relationship between intelligence and metacognitive skills. Analyses of variance revealed significant main effects of verbal and numerical (crystallised) intelligence, and of cognitive regulatory activities on academic performance. The effect of diagrammatic (fluid) intelligence on academic performance was just short of being significant. Implications for further research and for educational practice are being discussed.
Even though marks in different subjects are substantially correlated, the corresponding self-concepts often display a very weak association. The “Internal–External Frame of Reference Model” explains this finding: social comparisons (resulting in positive correlations of the self-concepts) and dimensional comparisons (resulting in negative correlations of the self-concepts) are confounded. A rarely tested hypothesis derived from the I/E-model is that the dimensional comparison process only affects the self-concepts, if the students achieve differently in the corresponding subjects.
In a sample of N = 1508 students (grades 7 and 8), low correlations of the self-concepts for four subjects could be observed only in students displaying different school-marks in the corresponding subjects. In students who have the same marks in different subjects, the self-concepts showed a substantial positive correlation.
In the present paper a model of self-fulfilling prophecy effects in media-based learning was developed and tested. The central model assumption was that information about an instructional medium's quality affects students' academic achievement depending on the instructional content's relevance to the student. Experiment 1 (N = 100) demonstrated higher achievement in response to positive compared to negative information, but not the predicted moderating effect of content relevance. Using a revised relevance manipulation, Experiment 2 (N = 199) identified the following moderating function of content relevance: Under moderate relevance positive information led to higher achievement, under high relevance negative information resulted in higher achievement. No differences appeared under low relevance. Path analyses revealed students' cognitive effort as significant mediator for these effects.
The study focuses on design education using Experiential Learning Theory (ELT) and explores the effects of learning styles and gender on the performance scores of freshman design students in three successive academic years. Findings indicate that the distribution of design students through learning style type preference was more concentrated in assimilating and converging groups. Further study indicates that the first and third groups were found to be more balancing while the second group being mostly a southerner. The learning style preferences did not significantly differ by gender in all three groups. Although there is no consistency in all three groups, results indicate that the performance scores of males were higher in technology-based courses, whereas scores of females were higher in artistic and fundamental courses and in the semester academic performance scores (GPA). Also, it was found that the performance scores of converging and diverging students differed significantly in favor of converging students only in design courses. In design education, instructors should provide a strategy that is relevant to the style of each learner in design studio process.
The aim of the study was to investigate whether children's achievement strategies would predict the development of their reading and mathematical skills during the first school year, or whether it is rather these skills that predict the changes in their achievement strategies. One-hundred and five 6- to 7-year-old children were examined three times during their first year of primary school: in each measurement, their self-reported achievement strategies were assessed, and their reading and mathematical skills were rated by their classroom teacher. Their overall cognitive competence was also measured before entry into school. The results showed that the use of maladaptive achievement strategies hampered the children's subsequent improvement in reading and mathematical skills. By contrast, children's skills did not have any impact on their subsequent use of achievement strategies.
Relations between the development of future time perspectives in three life domains (i.e., school and professional career, social relations, and leisure time) and changes in students’ investment in learning and academic achievement were examined in this study. Participants were 584 students in the first and 584 in the second year of the lower vocational education in the Netherlands who completed self-report measures at four different time points during a school year. The data were analysed using multivariate latent growth curve modelling. Future time perspective influenced the development of academic achievement via the growth of investment in learning. Long-term time perspective in leisure time had a negative effect on the development of investment in learning, whereas the effects of the long-term time perspective in school and professional career, as well as in social relations, were positive.Research highlights► Relations between development in different time perspectives and changes in students' learning investment and academic achievement were examined in this study. ►Participants were 584 students in the first and 584 in the second year of the lowest level of secondary school in the Netherlands. ►The data were analysed using multivariate latent growth curve modelling. ►Future time perspectives can partly explain the well-known decrease in students' motivation after starting secondary school. ► Development in long-term time perspective on leisure time had a negative effect on development in learning investment, while the effects of the longterm time perspective on school and professional career and social relations were positive.
The percentage of school students specializing in math and science is particularly low. The current research suggests that this is due to prototypes about math and science being highly dissimilar from self-prototypes students have or want to have of themselves. Going beyond previous studies on self-to-prototype matching, we assumed that students compare their self-views to both a prototypical student liking a certain subject (favourite-subject-prototype) and a prototypical student disapproving of it (least liked subject-prototype). Results show that for humanities (German and English language), favourite-subject-prototypes were judged more positively than least-liked-subject-prototypes, whereas for science (math and physics), least-liked-subject-prototypes were perceived as more positive than favourite-subject-prototypes. As expected, only if a student’s self-prototype was quite clear (high self-clarity) was it used as a standard against which school-subject prototypes were compared with respect to their degree of overlap. Our results showed that the better the match between self and favourite-subject-prototype, the stronger were the subject preferences.
The aim of the present study was to investigate how situational interest develops over time and how it is related to academic achievement in an active-learning classroom. Five measures of situational interest were administered at critical points in time to 69 polytechnic students during a one-day, problem-based learning session. Results revealed that situational interest significantly increased after the problem stimulus was presented. Subsequently, situational interest gradually decreased but at the end of the day increased again. Testing a path model relating the situational interest measures showed strong (directional) interrelations. Moreover, situational interest was highly predictive for observed achievement-related classroom behaviors. The latter, in turn, proved to be a significant predictor of academic achievement. Aggregating situational interest over the day led to less accurate predictions of achievement-related classroom behaviors and academic achievement. Implications of these findings for situational interest research are discussed.
The study examined associations between university teachers' experiences of academic leadership, their perceptions of a specific academic context and their approaches to teaching in a particular subject that was taught in that context. The sample consisted of 439 lecturers in Australian universities in four fields of study. Lecturers completed surveys of their experiences and approaches. Structural equation models derived from student approaches to learning theory were developed and tested. The experience of leadership for teaching and a collegial commitment to enhancing student learning were found to be associated with the experience of the context of teaching and to lecturers' approaches to teaching.
This paper outlines the qualitative research method and results of an investigation of the conceptions of teaching and learning held by teachers of first year university chemistry and physics courses. In both cases a limited number of qualitatively different categories of description were identified (6 and 5 respectively) ranging from information transmission to facilitating conceptual change in teaching and knowledge accumulation to conceptual change in learning. An analysis of the referential and structural components of the conceptions is used to develop the internal structure of the conceptions. Finally, the relation of the results to conceptual change programs is discussed.
Articles about the conceptions of teaching of university academics are reviewed. There is found to be a high level of correspondence between largely independent studies reported in 13 articles. An attempt to synthesise the body of research places conceptions under two broad orientations characterised as teacher-centred/content-oriented and student-centred/learning-oriented. Each orientation has two associated conceptions. A transitionary category, labelled student-teacher interaction, links the two orientations. The five conceptions beneath the orientations are visualised as well-defined points within a continuum, and there is some evidence of lecturers shifting beliefs across the spectrum over time. Teaching conceptions have been shown to be related to measures of the quality of student learning, so are modelled as influencing teaching approaches which in turn effect student learning approaches and learning outcomes. It is argued that measures to enhance the quality of teaching should take account of teaching conceptions if they are to be effective, as teaching approaches are strongly influenced by the underlying beliefs of the teacher.
This study examined whether students with different achievement goal orientation profiles differ in terms of subjective well-being (i.e., self-esteem, depressive symptoms, school-related burnout, and educational goal appraisals). Six groups of students with unique motivational profiles were identified. Observed differences in subjective well-being indicated that goals related to self-improvement and growth were positively associated with various indices of well-being, whereas avoidance tendencies and concerns with validating or demonstrating one's competence were linked with different types of adjustment problems. Findings demonstrate the importance of including measures of well-being when evaluating the role of achievement goal orientations in learning and achievement.
This study examined the role of motivational or attitudinal factors, such as achievement beliefs and behaviours, in learning to read before receiving formal instruction. A total of 200 Finnish children were examined at ages 5 and 6½. Half of them (n = 107) had a familial risk for dyslexia. The results showed that those children who were verbally skilful at age 5 showed a higher level of task-focused behaviour at age 6½. This task-focused behaviour then contributed to spontaneous reading acquisition. The impact of previous verbal skills on spontaneous reading acquisition was mediated in part by achievement behaviour.
This paper draws together the as yet nascent literature on the development of failure-avoidant patterns of behaviour. These are behaviours intended to minimise risk to self-worth in the event of failure, thereby avoiding the negative impact of poor performance in terms of damage to self-worth. Self-worth protection, self-handicapping, impostor fears, procrastination and defensive pessimism fit this category. Increasingly the literature reveals arresting parallels in aspects of parenting and family messages that lay behind these behaviours. On the basis of aspects of parenting and personality variables common to failure-avoidant behaviours, implications are drawn in terms of the manner in which parents and teachers may help to contain their performance-limiting consequences.
The study examined the effects of gender and ethnicity on mathematics achievement on a national test and on dispositions (attitudes, perceived parental expectations, effort, and help) towards the study of mathematics of a representative sample of Jewish and Arab eighth graders in Israel. The results indicated a large ethnic gap in achievement in favor of the Jewish students. Significant gender–ethnicity interactions emerged whereby Arab girls, compared to Arab boys, attempted more items on the test. In the Jewish sample, either the reverse held true or there were no significant differences between the sexes. Arab girls also reported receiving less help in doing mathematics homework and perceived their parents' expectations for their success in mathematics as higher than did Arab boys. Jewish girls, on the other hand, perceived their parents' expectations as lower and reported investigating more effort in coping with mathematics tasks and using more supporting tools than did Jewish boys. The results were discussed in light of cultural differences between Jews and Arabs in Israeli society and their respective learning environments.
Particularly in the so called “hard” science subjects the supposedly equal treatment offered by coeducation in schools proves to be, on closer inspection, an extremely subtle form of unequal treatment. The syllabus and the modes of behavior of both male and female teachers are mainly influenced by the interests, knowledge and abilities of the boys.Based on empirical findings an intervention project aimed at giving girls a better chance in science was carried out focusing on the initial courses of physics in secondary level I (grade 7). Three aspects of innovation were involved: (1) development of new teaching units and materials based on empirical results on the specific interests and experiences of girls; (2) development of strategies to check ones' own (teacher's) classroom behavior; and, (3) alternating single sex with coeducational teaching vs. coeducational teaching only. The effects of the intervention measures are evaluated in a longitudinal design. Gender specific differences in interest and achievement in physics will be discussed depending on personality characteristics and classroom characteristics as well as the developed curriculum and its motivational impact.
Emotions such as interest and anxiety are part of the learning process as well as cognition and motivation. In view of this, educational science should take emotional aspects of instruction into account. The ECOLE-approach (Emotional and Cognitive Aspects of Learning) presented in this paper is a theoretically guided educational approach based on a specific combination of both student-centered and direct instruction. ECOLE aims at improving the quality of instruction by increasing positive emotions and achievement, and by avoiding negative emotions. The results of a quasi-experimental intervention study conducted in 37 8th and 9th grade classrooms in southwestern Germany showed that emotions and above all achievement were enhanced by the ECOLE instruction. Results are discussed in terms of specific teaching strategies that enhance emotions and achievement in teaching units of biology, German, and physics.
This article presents an overview of research on training-based or learning potential assessment with regard to school achievement. In addition, tests in this area are introduced, called domain-specific learning potential tests. Four types of traditional achievement tests are distinguished: readiness pre-tests, formative and summative tests, and diagnostic tests. One major shortcoming of these tests is discussed. Six domain-specific learning potential tests in the domains of mathematics and reading are described and research with these instruments is reviewed. It can be concluded that learning potential measures account for an additional amount of explained variance in external criteria of reading and spelling. However, it is argued that more psychometric research is needed from item response theory in order to solve problems regarding construct validity.
The prediction is tested that performance goals only entail poor achievement outcomes in individuals with a low self-concept of ability (American Psychologist, 41 (1986) 1040; Psychological Review, 95 (1988) 256). In agreement with Dweck, in three experimental studies participants with performance goals showed impaired performance only when their self-perceived ability was low. Contradictory to Dweck’s predictions, in study 2 this was true although participants were not confronted with failure feedback. Finally, study 3 indicated that individuals with low self-perceived ability considered their performance more often as failures when directed towards performance goals. The consideration of self-perceived ability might clarify and help resolve contradicting research findings about effects of motivational orientation on achievement.
The popular claim that homework time is positively related to achievement and achievement gains was tested in three studies. Time on homework was compared and contrasted with other indicators of homework assignment (i.e., homework frequency) and students' homework behavior (i.e., homework effort). The results of the three studies indicate that homework assignments are positively associated with achievement (class-level effect) and that doing homework is associated with achievement gains (student-level effect), but that the positive effects of homework assignments and completion are not captured by the “time on homework” measure.
This study examined how constructivist and didactic instruction was related to students' cognitive, motivational, and achievement outcomes in English classrooms, using a sample of 3000 Grade 9 students from 108 classrooms in 39 secondary schools in Singapore. Results of hierarchical linear modeling showed differential cross-level relations. After controlling for students' prior achievement, constructivist instruction was a significant positive predictor of students' deep processing strategies, self-efficacy, task value, and English achievement, whereas didactic instruction was a significant positive predictor of students' surface processing strategies and a negative predictor of English achievement. Our findings underscore the importance of linking instructional practices with multiple outcomes, including psychological factors that are important for student learning.
This article reports results of a four-year longitudinal study that investigated the impact of specific and non-specific precursors on mathematical school achievement. Preschool quantity-number competencies (QNC) predicted mathematical achievement in primary school. Furthermore, basic arithmetic fact retrieval in Grade 1 had an impact on early mathematics school achievement. The influence of socioeconomic status and number naming speed, assessed in kindergarten, became especially important at the end of Grade 4. Particularly, a subgroup of mathematically low-achieving children in Grade 4 had already performed more poorly than normal children in tasks assessing preschool QNC, number naming speed, and basic arithmetic fact retrieval, as well as nonverbal intelligence and socioeconomic status.
This article presents the findings of a study designed to investigate how specific cognitions and feelings, measured in the actual learning situation, influence learning intention and achievement in mathematics. A number of motivational and affective variables measured at the trait level (viz. goal-orientation, attributional style, and self-efficacy) were included in the study. The model of adaptable learning as developed by Boekaerts was used to measure task-specific motivation. In this model phenomena at a task-specific level are assumed to mediate the influence of trait characteristics. The matrix of covariances among the trait and task-specific variables was used as input for a path analysis. The data largely confirmed the assumptions of the model of adaptable learning. In a group of 8th graders (aged 11–12), the model was found to be effective in explaining the students' experimental state and learning intention when confronted with a complex math task.
This article reports on an intervention study into the general and differential effects of an experimental mathematics program on student achievement in secondary education. The following research question was addressed: in co-operative groups in secondary mathematics, what are the general and differential effects of training in the use of social and cognitive strategies on both mathematical reasoning ability and domain-specific knowledge? In the experimental program students were trained in (a) how to solve mathematical problems in real-life situations by using (meta-) cognitive strategies i.e. modelling reality, making different representations, planning, monitoring and checking, and (b) to co-operate in order to facilitate each other's learning by giving more elaborated help and promoting equal participation. Students in the control group did not receive any training but were merely told to help each other. Students in the experimental program gained more than the students in the control program on two of the three tests. Low achieving students benefit from strategy instruction as long as the instruction is not too complex.
It has been hypothesized that the development of medical expertise may be characterized by structural changes in the knowledge base, a process termed “knowledge encapsulation” (Schmidt, Norman, & Boshuizen, Academic Medicine, 65, 611–621, 1990). Until now this process has been investigated using a cross-sectional paradigm, comparing levels of expertise often far apart. The present study applies a follow-up approach, covering the first two years of apprenticeship of medical students (the clerkships) and includes a comparison between high- and low-achieving students. Experience level appears to be correlated with structural changes in the knowledge base and with the quality of the diagnosis. Achievement level has a weak correlation with the quality, but not with the structure of the knowledge. It is concluded that high and low achievers do not differ in the way their knowledge structures change as a consequence of practical experience. Implications for teaching and learning in practical settings are discussed.
This study assessed the effects of explicit teaching of metastrategic knowledge (MSK) on gains of low-achieving (LA) and high-achieving (HA) 5th grade students (N = 41). Gains in reasoning scores of students from the Experimental group (compared to students from the control group) were obtained on the strategic and on the metastrategic level. Gains were preserved in near and far transfer tasks immediately after the end of instruction and 3 months later. Explicit teaching of MSK affected both LA and HA students, but it was extremely valuable for LA students who required a longer period than HA students to reach their top score.
The level of comprehension monitoring and the level of reading comprehension in low- and high-achieving fourth graders were investigated. Monitoring was assessed by changes in reading time and number of look-backs when confronted with comprehension obstacles. Reading comprehension was assessed with a task in which subjects had to summarize the text. The effect of strategic training on low-achievers' monitoring and comprehension was also investigated. The results indicated that the level of monitoring and the level of comprehension are related, which helps to clarify the differences between low- and high-achieving readers' comprehension. Training improved the low-achievers' monitoring and comprehension. The assessment method, with suggestions for its improvement, is also discussed.
Whole tasks for acquiring complex skills are often too difficult for novices. To solve this problem, process support divides the problem solving into phases, offers driving questions, and provides feedback. A multimedia program was used to teach sophomore law students (N = 82) to prepare and carry out a plea. In a randomised 2 × 2 design with the factors number of phases and availability of driving questions, students solving a task with fewer phases performed better and more efficiently than students exposed to more phases. Also, students receiving driving questions performed better, although not more efficiently than students not receiving such questions. The results indicate that whole tasks should be accompanied by process support, although task characteristics might restrict the benefits of driving questions in this support.
This study investigated how Spanish orthographic code complexities influence learning to spell. Word and pseudoword dictation tests were carried out by 208 first- to fourth-grade students. Items included the following orthographic code complexities: digraph, contextual effect, position effect, letter H, inconsistency, and stress mark. The results revealed effect of grade and type of complexity on spelling performance. The type of complexity also interacted with grade and lexical value of the type of items (word vs. pseudoword). It seems that children acquire spelling skills early in terms of phoneme–grapheme correspondence rules, but lexical knowledge develops more slowly. The importance of lexical knowledge is highlighted, as well as the need of prosodic knowledge for the stress mark.
This paper analyses the development and promotion of self-regulatory strategies for comprehending and learning from text in primary school children (9 years old), using cooperative learning. Experimental and Control Groups were compared for their comprehension of narrative and expository texts: the first was exposed to repeated reading experiences within cooperative learning teams as part of regular classes and using official programs-texts; the Control Group followed regular classroom activities. The Experimental Group showed a marked development of strategies for dealing with texts in comparison with the Control Group. Cooperative learning promoted the acquisition of procedural knowledge (strategies) for processing narrative and expository texts. These strategies do not seem to be promoted adequately by regular classroom activities.
This study examines the acquisition of expertise in designing and developing information systems. The aim was to investigate how practical experience is related to contextual and strategic knowledge in problem-solving. Using a combination of expert–novice comparisons and longitudinal methods, professional systems analysts were compared with novices at the beginning and end of a seven month project-based course. The results show that during the course, the novices acquired a good deal of strategic competence in using domain-specific methods. Compared to the novices, the experts showed a more comprehensive and higher level of awareness of clients' contextual constraints. The study demonstrated qualitative variation in the subjects' solutions to design problems. Five distinct solution patterns were found; these appeared to originate mainly from the settings of the subjects' practical work.
The acquisition of English morpho-syntactic elements was studied in five adult L2 learners, all native speakers of Spanish, while they were enrolled in a pre-university intensive English program. Data were elicited through a variety of paired oral and written tasks over a three and a half month semester. Samples were analyzed to determine whether speech or writing served as the primary source of morpho-syntactic innovation. The five subjects demonstrated notable differences in their patterns of language development across both modalities. In general, however, writing appeared to be the preferred medium for the emergence of new morpho-syntactic forms and for the development of grammatical accuracy.
The ability of school children (N = 233) to acquire new scientific vocabulary was examined. Children from two age groups (M = 4.8 and M = 6.5) were introduced to previously unknown words in an educational video. Word knowledge was assessed through accuracy and latency for production and comprehension over a 9-month period. A draw and write task assessed acquisition of domain knowledge. Word learning was poorer than has previously been reported in the literature, and subject to influences of word type (domain specificity) and word class. The results indicate that the acquisition of scientific terms is a complex process moderated by lexical, semantic and pragmatic factors.
Hypothesis testing has been seen by science educators as a context which supports the integrated acquisition of conceptual and procedural knowledge. However, research suggests potential conflicts between the conditions conducive to conceptual growth and those conducive to procedural. The study reported here with 9- to 12-year old pupils endorses this, but suggests that the problems can be overcome given tasks where pupils: (a) debate their conceptual knowledge and reach consensus; (b) subject their consensual positions to guided experimental appraisal and draw conclusions from what transpires. It is argued that the demonstrated role of consensus has consequences not just for educational practice but also for psychological theories of development and learning.
This study tested the hypothesized negative impact of cognitive test anxiety in the test preparation, performance, and reflection phases. Data available from the participants (n = 124) included test anxiety, study skills, perceived threat of tests, and performance attributions. Preparation phase data revealed, compared to their counterparts, that students with high-cognitive test anxiety reported lower study skills (d = 0.83), rated tests as more threatening (d = 1.18), and prepared less effective test notes. Performance phase effects revealed that the high-anxiety group performed worse on tests (d = 0.96) and reported higher levels of emotionality (d = 1.42). Test reflection phase reports demonstrated a relationship between cognitive test anxiety and helplessness attributions. The results are interpreted through a process model, proposing that cognitive test anxiety is associated with detrimental perceptions and behaviors in all phases of the learning–testing cycle.
A first objective of this study is to determine the generality versus domain-specificity of the metacognitive skills that students bring into new learning situations. Additionally, this study addresses the relationship between intelligence and metacognitive skillfulness as predictors of novice learning. Fourteen high or (relatively) low intelligent psychology freshmen (novices in the domains of physics and statistics) participated in the experiment. Subjects passed through three different simulation environments representing physics, statistics, and a fictitious domain. Both the subject's metacognitive skillfulness and learning performances were assessed for each domain. Results support the generality of novice metacognitive skills across domains. Furthermore, metacognitive skillfulness contributes to novice learning partly independent of intellectual ability. Implications for metacognitive skill training are being discussed.