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ERIC Number: ED554272
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 132
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3031-6146-9
Drawing Connections across Conceptually Related Visual Representations in Science
Hansen, Janice
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Irvine
This dissertation explored beliefs about learning from multiple related visual representations in science, and compared beliefs to learning outcomes. Three research questions were explored: 1) What beliefs do pre-service teachers, non-educators and children have about learning from visual representations? 2) What format of presenting those representations is most effective for learning? And, 3) Can children's ability to process conceptually related science diagrams be enhanced with added support? Three groups of participants, 89 pre-service teachers, 211 adult non-educators, and 385 middle school children, were surveyed about whether they felt related visual representations presented serially or simultaneously would lead to better learning outcomes. Two experiments, one with adults and one with child participants, explored the validity of these beliefs. Pre-service teachers did not endorse either serial or simultaneous related visual representations for their own learning. They were, however, significantly more likely to indicate that children would learn better from serially presented diagrams. In direct contrast to the educators, middle school students believed they would learn better from related visual representations presented simultaneously. Experimental data indicated that the beliefs adult non-educators held about their own learning needs matched learning outcomes. These participants endorsed simultaneous presentation of related diagrams for their own learning. When comparing learning from related diagrams presented simultaneously to learning from the same diagrams presented serially indicate that those in the simultaneously condition were able to create more complex mental models. A second experiment compared children's learning from related diagrams across four randomly-assigned conditions: serial, simultaneous, simultaneous with signaling, and simultaneous with structure mapping support. Providing middle school students with simultaneous related diagrams with support for structure mapping led to a lessened reliance on surface features, and a better understanding of the science concepts presented. These findings suggest that presenting diagrams serially in an effort to reduce cognitive load may not be preferable for learning if making connections across representations, and by extension across science concepts, is desired. Instead, providing simultaneous diagrams with structure mapping support may result in greater attention to the salient relationships between related visual representations as well as between the representations and the science concepts they depict. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A