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ERIC Number: EJ1003575
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Aug
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0959-4752
Effects of Three Diagram Instruction Methods on Transfer of Diagram Comprehension Skills: The Critical Role of Inference While Learning
Cromley, Jennifer G.; Bergey, Bradley W.; Fitzhugh, Shannon; Newcombe, Nora; Wills, Theodore W.; Shipley, Thomas F.; Tanaka, Jacqueline C.
Learning and Instruction, v26 p45-58 Aug 2013
Can students be taught to better comprehend the diagrams in their textbooks? Can such teaching transfer to uninstructed diagrams in the same domain or even in a new domain? What methods work best for these goals? Building on previous research showing positive results compared to control groups in both laboratory studies and short-term interventions, the authors developed three 6-week-long classroom treatments and compared their effectiveness in a sample of 137 high school biology students. Treatments involved students generating explanations (Self-Expl), completing a diagram with graphic elements (SCD-Visual), or completing a diagram with text (SCD-Verbal). Treatments were both effective for literal and inferential biology diagram comprehension, but the Self-Expl treatment showed greater pre-posttest gains on inferential items and SCD-Visual showed greater gains on literal items. Far transfer to geoscience diagram comprehension was only found for SCD-Verbal. There were no gains on biology knowledge for SCD-Visual. Analyses of instructional materials and students' coded answers during the intervention suggest that Self-Expl and SCD-Verbal conditions fostered more effort and more inferences while learning than did SCD-Visual. Results are consistent with the emphasis on inference in Hegarty's model of diagram comprehension. (Contains 1 table.)
Elsevier. 3251 Riverport Lane, Maryland Heights, MO 63043. Tel: 800-325-4177; Tel: 314-447-8000; Fax: 314-447-8033; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A