ERIC Number: ED371022
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Using Multidimensional Scaling To Measure Conceptual Change.
Relations among students' cognitive structures, instruction, and course achievement were studied for 102 undergraduates in three courses. An aim of the study was to integrate expert-novice research with investigations of cognitive-structure change. Experienced instructors identified concepts central to the different courses. Students were asked to cluster the items early in the courses and again at the courses' end, and these clusterings were compared to the groupings arranged by instructors. Multidimensional-scaling analysis was used to measure the cognitive structures of students in each course. The average difference of terms in a group from the group centroid, central term, was used as a measure of coherence. The increase in terms of coherence for one course (educational psychology) was close to significant; in another course (physics) the increase was significant, and in a third (women's studies), the increase was not significant. The prediction that students' cognitive structures become more coherent with instruction was supported, but the importance of other variables cannot be ignored. The difference in results across the disciplines is discussed. Eight figures and five tables present study data. (Contains 25 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Conceptual Change; Expert Novice Paradigm
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 4-8, 1994).