ERIC Number: ED216312
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: N/A
Adjunct Questions Effects and Experimental Constraints. Occasional Paper 1.
Duchastel, Philippe C.
Many consider the use of adjunct questions (mathemagenics) to be a means by which the instructional value of a text can be increased with relatively little difficulty, and this explains the appeal they have generated over the years. Yet this appeal is seldom tempered by a consideration of the ecological validity of the experimental studies on which the theoretical foundation of mathemagenics is based. The issue is whether the research evidence for enhanced learning that is obtained in controlled studies can be extrapolated to practical instructional settings. It is mainly the effects of postquestions that create the most interest, for it is they which enhance both relevant (question-related) learning and incidental (unrelated) learning, as seen on a posttest. In experimental studies, the students cannot turn back to seek out or check the answer to the question they have just encountered. Their only option is mental review, which is a far different situation than the one encountered in practical settings where students study freely with their textbooks. Experimental constraints also encourage students to process the text in ways that are an exaggeration of their natural techniques. Thus, both mental review and the general stimulatory effect of postquestions are confounded by procedural tactics. The procedural paradigm currently employed in mathemagenic research will not provide useful and practical results. That postquestions do enhance learning in real study settings is generally recognized. However, how they do it and how questions can be best used remains to be established. (HOD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Coll., Bryn Mawr, PA.