ERIC Number: ED221838
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-May
Reference Count: 0
The Effects of Examples on the Comprehension of Textbooks.
Twohig, Paul T.
A study was conducted to examine learning from textbook sentences that provide examples. It was predicted that an example written succinctly and with a word order that emphasized its parallel semantic relations with the exemplified principle, such as "animals have parasites; dogs have fleas," would have a positive effect on idea comprehension. It was also predicted that examples with many irrelevant details or examples without explicitly stated principles would have neutral or negative effects on idea comprehension. Three versions of a 10th grade biology textbook chapter were constructed: well constructed examples (E+), poorly constructed examples with mostly unimportant principles illustrated (E-), and conditions with no example (NO). Ninety-two university undergraduate students read one of these three versions and performed a free recall task. As predicted, the recall performance was higher in the facilitative example (E+) condition than in either of the other two conditions. There was no difference in overall recall between the (E-) and the (NO) conditions. The protocols were also examined to see if, when the examples were recalled, their principles were recalled also. Subjects in the (E+) condition recalled the examples' principles 95% of the time, while subjects in the (E-) condition recalled only 59% of the corresponding principles. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association (Minneapolis, MN, May 6-8, 1982).