Creating Mappings When Learning From Multiple Representations: The Role of Self-Generation
Dietz, Kevin D.
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Students are often able to learn a concept effectively if it is presented in multiple formats and they map common elements across the representations (Ainsworth, 2006). However, low-knowledge learners often fail to do this. Recent research has demonstrated some benefits to learning for low-knowledge individuals who explain commonalities in representations that are provided to them (Berthold & Renkl, 2009). The present study tested whether there was an advantage to having learners generate their own scaffolded mappings and explain them compared to explaining provided mappings, especially with respect to conceptual, as opposed to procedural, understanding of the to-be-learned material. Seventy-five low-knowledge participants studied worked-examples of probability word problems as they generated explanations under one of three conditions: when no mappings were provided, when researcher-produced mappings were provided, or when the participant generated the mappings with scaffolded assistance. Participants were also instructed to think-aloud during the study process, in contrast to prior work on this topic. Results indicate the condition that required explaining scaffolded learner-generated mappings led to higher conceptual, but not procedural, knowledge at post-test compared to the researcher-provided mappings or no mapping conditions. Analyses of think-aloud protocols collected during the solution process suggest that these findings may be due to the higher number of conceptual justification statements produced when learners generate their own mappings. Additionally, there is evidence that these types of justification statements mediated the relationship between the acquisition of conceptual knowledge and the types of mappings learners made between the multiple representations.
Subjectlearning from multiple representations