ERIC Number: EJ781286
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Learning by Doing versus Learning by Viewing: Three Experimental Comparisons of Learner-Generated versus Author-Provided Graphic Organizers
Stull, Andrew T.; Mayer, Richard E.
Journal of Educational Psychology, v99 n4 p808-820 Nov 2007
Do students learn more deeply from a passage when they attempt to construct their own graphic organizers (i.e., learning by doing) than when graphic organizers are provided (i.e., learning by viewing)? In 3 experiments, learners were tested on retention and transfer after reading a passage with author-provided graphic organizers or when asked to construct graphic organizers. In Experiment 1 (highest complexity), there were 27 author-provided graphic organizers or margin space for constructing graphic organizers. In Experiment 2 (intermediate complexity), there were 18 author-provided graphic organizers or 18 corresponding graphic organizer templates. In Experiment 3 (lowest complexity), there were 10 author-provided graphic organizers or 10 corresponding graphic organizer templates. On transfer, the effect size favored the author-provided group (Experiment 1: d = 0.24, ns; Experiment 2: d = 0.43, p less than 0.05; Experiment 3: d = 0.84, p less than 0.01). On retention, there were no significant differences. These results are consistent with cognitive load theory, which posits that excessive activity can create extraneous cognitive load, disrupting generative processing. These results are not consistent with activity theory, which posits that students learn by doing.
Descriptors: Reading Strategies, Experiential Learning, Instructional Materials, Educational Psychology, Intermode Differences, Learner Controlled Instruction, Programmed Instructional Materials, Effect Size, Instructional Effectiveness
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A