ERIC Number: ED175883
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Nov
To Ask a Question, One Must Know Enough to Know What Is Not Known. Report No. 7802.
Miyake, Naomi; Norman, Donald A.
This study involved the manipulation of question-asking in a learning task. The hypothesis that learners should ask the most questions when their knowledge was well-matched to the level of presentation was tested, using two levels of background knowledge and two levels of difficulty of material to be learned. The more simple instructional materials present concrete examples first, followed by more abstract explanations. The more difficult learner's manual presented the abstract concepts first, followed by detailed specifications. The results showed that at least some aspects of complex learning were accessible through the measures of question-asking, and that any theory of question asking in learning could not simply predict that gaps in a person's knowledge would be the source of questions. Specifically, novice learners tended to ask more questions on the easier material than learners with some training. Trained learners asked more questions, and more complex questions, than novices on the more difficult materials. Apparently, the novices did not ask questions about the more difficult material because it was too far beyond their present abilities. (RD) (RD)
Descriptors: Academic Ability, Classification, Computer Science Education, Difficulty Level, Higher Education, Knowledge Level, Learning, Learning Experience, Learning Processes, Learning Readiness, Learning Theories, Prior Learning, Questioning Techniques, Research Reports, Student Characteristics, Student Needs, Training Methods
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Naval Research, Washington, DC. Personnel and Training Branch.; National Inst. of Mental Health (DHEW), Rockville, MD.
Authoring Institution: California Univ., San Diego. Center for Human Information Processing.