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ERIC Number: EJ1135313
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Feb
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1089-9995
Establishing and Applying Literature-Based Criteria for Effective Communication of Science to Novices via Introductory Geology Textbooks
Kortz, Karen M.; Grenga, Andrea M.; Smay, Jessica J.
Journal of Geoscience Education, v65 n1 p48-59 Feb 2017
Textbooks are widely used in higher education by instructors and students. Therefore, it is useful to examine how textbooks present information because textbook design impacts how well students learn from them. This study has two parts. First, within the framework of the cognitive load and dual-coding theories, a set of recommendations based on research on how novices learn from printed materials was developed with the goal of establishing a set of best practices to improve student learning. These recommendations include integrating text and figures and minimizing extraneous geologic vocabulary. Any information in printed form, such as textbooks, lab manuals, and informative handouts, could benefit by using these recommendations in their design. Second, a subset of the recommendations was systematically applied to analyze the four introductory geology textbooks with the largest market share. The results of this analysis indicate that students would benefit from textbooks that are more closely aligned with how novices learn best.
National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Carleton College W-SERC, One North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057. Tel: 540-568-6675; Fax: 540-568-8058; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: TUES1244881