Examining the influence of expertise on the effectiveness of diagramming and summarising when studying scientific materials
journal contributionposted on 31.03.2020, 13:13 by Ouhao Chen, Emmanuel Manalo, Yan She
A 2 (learning strategies: diagram vs. summary) × 2 (levels of expertise: low vs. high) experiment was conducted to compare the effectiveness of using diagrams to writing summaries for students given biological information to learn and who possessed different levels of expertise in that topic area. A main effect of learning strategy used on number of idea units encoded (in diagrams or summaries) was found: drawing diagrams was superior to writing summaries. However, no interaction effect between learning strategies and expertise was found. An examination of students’ subjective ratings of cognitive load revealed that those with low expertise reported higher levels of cognitive load when constructing diagrams. These findings suggest that using diagrams is effective for identifying and encoding important information when learning, but that it would be helpful to provide guidance about diagram use particularly to students who are novices in the topic area to reduce cognitive load.
The second author’s contribution to this research was supported by a grant-in-aid [grant number 15H01976] received from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.
- Mathematics Education Centre