ERIC Number: ED265824
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Aug-28
Reference Count: N/A
The Role of Elaborations in Learning a Skill from an Instructional Text: Further Findings.
Reder, Lynne M.; And Others
To examine the role of elaborations in learning a procedural skill (i.e., using a personal computer) from an instructional text, 88 members of the Carnegie-Mellon University community (students, faculty, and staff members) participated in two experiments. Experimental sessions consisted of a reading period followed by a task performance period in which subjects utilized an IBM personal computer. The first experiment compared two sources of elaborations: those provided in an elaborated version of the microcomputer user's manual, and those generated by learners while reading an unelaborated manual. For the second condition, subjects were given advance information about the tasks they were to perform so that they would generate more specific, task-related elaborations while reading. It was concluded that both sources of elaborations facilitated skill performance, in contrast to past experiments testing declarative knowledge in which author-provided elaborations were found to hurt performance. The second experiment examined responses to author-provided elaborations which were classified into two groups: those illustrating the syntax of the operation system commands and those explaining basic concepts and their applicability. Findings indicate that, although syntax elaborations produced significant facilitation for both experienced and novice computer users, concept elaborations produced no reliable improvement. Appendices contain samples of elaborations used in the two experiments, a five-page list of references, notes, and five data tables. (JB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Researchers
Sponsor: Office of Naval Research, Arlington, VA. Personnel and Training Research Programs Office.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Carnegie-Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA.