ERIC Number: ED218152
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1982-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Effects of Individual Differences, Processing Instructions, and Outline and Heading Characteristics on Learning from Introductory Science Text. Section 3: Generation of Descriptive Text Headings. Final Report.
Dansereau, Donald F.
Because many textbooks contain sparse headings or no headings at all, the effectiveness of having students generate their own headings while studying material from an introductory biology text was investigated. General psychology students (N=51) were randomly assigned to three groups: (1) Headings Generation, given instructions on creating a hierarchical set of headings to facilitate recall of a passage; (2) Headings Given, studied passage containing embedded headings with no instructions on headings usage; and (3) Control, received passage with no headings or instructions. Four measures (essay, outline, multiple-choice, short answer) were used to assess performance on an ecosystems passage. Results supported the expectation that the Headings Generation group would score significantly higher than the other two groups. However, the second expectation that the Headings Group would score better than the Control group was not supported. It is suggested that the mere presence of headings in text is not necessarily sufficient to substantially facilitate processing of academic text. Instead, it appears that the learner's attention must be directed toward the processing aids, supporting the notion that having students generate their own text headings is an effective strategy for both directing students' attention to the salient topics within a passage and encouraging students to actively process the text material. (Author/JN)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Texas Christian Univ., Fort Worth.