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ERIC Number: EJ876294
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Feb
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 61
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0663
Can Tutors Be Supported in Giving Effective Explanations?
Wittwer, Jorg; Nuckles, Matthias; Landmann, Nina; Renkl, Alexander
Journal of Educational Psychology, v102 n1 p74-89 Feb 2010
Tutors often make use of explanations that do not promote learning. One reason for the ineffectiveness of explanations might lie in tutors' failure to take into account a tutee's understanding in order to individualize instruction. To test whether tutors provide more effective explanations when they are assisted in assessing a tutee's understanding, we conducted an experiment (N = 30 dyads of tutors and tutees) and varied whether tutors received information about a tutee's individual knowledge level. Results showed that only tutors provided with information about the tutee were able to customize instruction. As a consequence, the individualized explanations lowered the incidence of clarifying questions on the part of the tutees, deepened their understanding, and reduced the number of false beliefs about newly learned concepts. The findings suggest that a diagnosis-based approach to support tutors in developing a model of the tutee effectively contributes to the individualization of instruction in tutoring. (Contains 2 figures, 3 tables and 1 footnote.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A