ERIC Number: EJ1105923
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Improving Diagrammatic Reasoning in Middle School Science Using Conventions of Diagrams Instruction
Miller, B. W.; Cromley, J. G.; Newcombe, N. S.
Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, v32 n4 p374-390 Aug 2016
Visual representations are essential for science understanding, but many students have poor diagrammatic reasoning skills. Previous research showed that teaching high school and college students about the conventions of diagrams (COD) can improve diagrammatic reasoning. In this study, middle school science students received COD instruction delivered as a classroom warm-up using laptop computers, while control students received publisher-developed warm-up questions. Students receiving COD warm-ups for 10 weeks (but not 4 weeks) improved their diagrammatic reasoning more than control students. Treatment students' answers were more accurate than control students' answers, especially on easy questions. The discourse of pairs of students during the warm-ups showed that treatment students talked about the diagrams more and made more inferences and that this difference was greatest for easy questions. Results suggest that COD instruction can be initiated in middle school along with more formal science instruction, can be integrated into classroom routine using computer-delivered warm-ups, is helpful (if sustained) both for improving diagrammatic reasoning and for supporting learning science content and works at least in part by increasing students' engagement during routine work.
Descriptors: Teaching Methods, Visual Aids, Science Instruction, Science Education, Visual Perception, Laptop Computers, Control Groups, Experimental Groups, Computer Uses in Education, Science Curriculum, Learner Engagement, Thinking Skills, Middle School Students, Class Activities, Questioning Techniques, Visual Literacy
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Sponsor: Department of Education (ED)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305A120471