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Effects of three diagram instruction methods on transfer of diagram comprehension skills: The critical role of inference while learning
ARTICLE

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Learning and Instruction Volume 26, Number 1, ISSN 0959-4752 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd

Abstract

Can students be taught to better comprehend the diagrams in their textbooks? Can such teaching transfer to uninstructed diagrams in the same domain or even in a new domain? What methods work best for these goals? Building on previous research showing positive results compared to control groups in both laboratory studies and short-term interventions, the authors developed three 6-week-long classroom treatments and compared their effectiveness in a sample of 137 high school biology students. Treatments involved students generating explanations (Self-Expl), completing a diagram with graphic elements (SCD-Visual), or completing a diagram with text (SCD-Verbal). Treatments were both effective for literal and inferential biology diagram comprehension, but the Self-Expl treatment showed greater pre-posttest gains on inferential items and SCD-Visual showed greater gains on literal items. Far transfer to geoscience diagram comprehension was only found for SCD-Verbal. There were no gains on biology knowledge for SCD-Visual. Analyses of instructional materials and students' coded answers during the intervention suggest that Self-Expl and SCD-Verbal conditions fostered more effort and more inferences while learning than did SCD-Visual. Results are consistent with the emphasis on inference in Hegarty's model of diagram comprehension.

Citation

Cromley, J.G., Bergey, B.W., Fitzhugh, S., Newcombe, N., Wills, T.W., Shipley, T.F. & Tanaka, J.C. (2013). Effects of three diagram instruction methods on transfer of diagram comprehension skills: The critical role of inference while learning. Learning and Instruction, 26(1), 45-58. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved April 5, 2020 from .

This record was imported from Learning and Instruction on January 29, 2019. Learning and Instruction is a publication of Elsevier.

Full text is availabe on Science Direct: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc.2013.01.003

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