Two instructional aids to optimise processing and learning from instructional explanations

Roelle J, Berthold K, Renkl A (2014)
Instructional Science 42(2): 207-228.

Journal Article | Published | English

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Although instructional explanations are commonly used to introduce learners to new learning content, previous studies have often shown that their effects on learning outcomes are minimal. This failure might partly be due to mental passivity of the learners while processing introductory explanations and to a lack of opportunity to revise potential misunderstandings after working on introductory explanations. Against this background, we provided learners with two instructional support measures to optimise the introduction of new principles and concepts by providing instructional explanations in the domain of management theory: (a) prompts designed to induce inferences that are focused on the central content of the explanations, and (b) remedial explanations that are adapted to the learners' knowledge gaps. We tested their effects in a 2 x 2 factorial experimental design with the following factors: (a) prompts designed to induce focused processing (with vs. without), and (b) remedial explanations (adapted vs. random). The participants consisted of 80 psychology students. We found that the prompts fostered both the share of deep-oriented processing and the acquisition of conceptual knowledge. The beneficial effect of prompts on conceptual knowledge was mediated by the number of inferences that learners generated in response to the prompts. In addition, we found that prompts also fostered the instructional efficiency of providing instructional explanations. The provision of adapted remedial explanations, however, fostered neither deep-oriented processing nor the acquisition of conceptual knowledge. We conclude that prompts designed to induce focused processing can foster deep-oriented processing as well as both the effectiveness and efficiency of learning from instructional explanations.
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Roelle J, Berthold K, Renkl A. Two instructional aids to optimise processing and learning from instructional explanations. Instructional Science. 2014;42(2):207-228.
Roelle, J., Berthold, K., & Renkl, A. (2014). Two instructional aids to optimise processing and learning from instructional explanations. Instructional Science, 42(2), 207-228.
Roelle, J., Berthold, K., and Renkl, A. (2014). Two instructional aids to optimise processing and learning from instructional explanations. Instructional Science 42, 207-228.
Roelle, J., Berthold, K., & Renkl, A., 2014. Two instructional aids to optimise processing and learning from instructional explanations. Instructional Science, 42(2), p 207-228.
J. Roelle, K. Berthold, and A. Renkl, “Two instructional aids to optimise processing and learning from instructional explanations”, Instructional Science, vol. 42, 2014, pp. 207-228.
Roelle, J., Berthold, K., Renkl, A.: Two instructional aids to optimise processing and learning from instructional explanations. Instructional Science. 42, 207-228 (2014).
Roelle, Julian, Berthold, Kirsten, and Renkl, Alexander. “Two instructional aids to optimise processing and learning from instructional explanations”. Instructional Science 42.2 (2014): 207-228.
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