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Learning from instructional explanations: effects of prompts based on the active-constructive-interactive framework.

Roelle J, Müller C, Roelle D, Berthold K - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: In support of the active < constructive learning hypothesis, we found that the learners who received reduced explanations and inference prompts outperformed the learners who received complete explanations and engaging prompts.Moreover, revision prompts were more effective in eliciting interactive learning activities than engaging prompts.In support of the constructive < interactive learning hypothesis, the learners who received adapted remedial explanations and revision prompts as add-ons to reduced explanations and inference prompts acquired more conceptual knowledge.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Although instructional explanations are commonly provided when learners are introduced to new content, they often fail because they are not integrated into effective learning activities. The recently introduced active-constructive-interactive framework posits an effectiveness hierarchy in which interactive learning activities are at the top; these are then followed by constructive and active learning activities, respectively. Against this background, we combined instructional explanations with different types of prompts that were designed to elicit these learning activities and tested the central predictions of the active-constructive-interactive framework. In Experiment 1, N = 83 students were randomly assigned to one of four combinations of instructional explanations and prompts. To test the active < constructive learning hypothesis, the learners received either (1) complete explanations and engaging prompts designed to elicit active activities or (2) explanations that were reduced by inferences and inference prompts designed to engage learners in constructing the withheld information. Furthermore, in order to explore how interactive learning activities can be elicited, we gave the learners who had difficulties in constructing the prompted inferences adapted remedial explanations with either (3) unspecific engaging prompts or (4) revision prompts. In support of the active < constructive learning hypothesis, we found that the learners who received reduced explanations and inference prompts outperformed the learners who received complete explanations and engaging prompts. Moreover, revision prompts were more effective in eliciting interactive learning activities than engaging prompts. In Experiment 2, N = 40 students were randomly assigned to either (1) a reduced explanations and inference prompts or (2) a reduced explanations and inference prompts plus adapted remedial explanations and revision prompts condition. In support of the constructive < interactive learning hypothesis, the learners who received adapted remedial explanations and revision prompts as add-ons to reduced explanations and inference prompts acquired more conceptual knowledge.

No MeSH data available.


Screenshot of a rapid verification task (translated from German).
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pone.0124115.g002: Screenshot of a rapid verification task (translated from German).

Mentions: In our study, we used a slightly modified version of the rapid verification method [8]. Each introductory instructional explanation was followed by a task that asked the learners to verify an inference. These inferences were predetermined parts of the learning environment and were designed so that they directly related to the inferences at which the inference prompts that were combined with the respective introductory explanation were targeted. For instance, the learners had to verify whether “[…] different types of atoms can only have the same mass numbers if they have a different number of neutrons.” The learners provided their answers by clicking on on-screen buttons (i.e., right, wrong, and don’t know; see Fig 2). They were instructed to click on don’t know instead of guessing their responses whenever they were in doubt. Furthermore, the learners had to indicate the difficulty of each verification task on a 9-point rating scale ranging from 1 (very easy) to 9 (very hard). In case the learners (a) did not correctly verify an inference or (b) rated the difficulty as hard (i.e., a rating of at least 7), the learners in the conditions with adapted remedial explanations received feedback in the form of a remedial explanation that included the correct inference and explained how the inference followed from the previous introductory explanation on the following screen. This adaptation mechanism was the same in both conditions that received remedial explanations.


Learning from instructional explanations: effects of prompts based on the active-constructive-interactive framework.

Roelle J, Müller C, Roelle D, Berthold K - PLoS ONE (2015)

Screenshot of a rapid verification task (translated from German).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4390325&req=5

pone.0124115.g002: Screenshot of a rapid verification task (translated from German).
Mentions: In our study, we used a slightly modified version of the rapid verification method [8]. Each introductory instructional explanation was followed by a task that asked the learners to verify an inference. These inferences were predetermined parts of the learning environment and were designed so that they directly related to the inferences at which the inference prompts that were combined with the respective introductory explanation were targeted. For instance, the learners had to verify whether “[…] different types of atoms can only have the same mass numbers if they have a different number of neutrons.” The learners provided their answers by clicking on on-screen buttons (i.e., right, wrong, and don’t know; see Fig 2). They were instructed to click on don’t know instead of guessing their responses whenever they were in doubt. Furthermore, the learners had to indicate the difficulty of each verification task on a 9-point rating scale ranging from 1 (very easy) to 9 (very hard). In case the learners (a) did not correctly verify an inference or (b) rated the difficulty as hard (i.e., a rating of at least 7), the learners in the conditions with adapted remedial explanations received feedback in the form of a remedial explanation that included the correct inference and explained how the inference followed from the previous introductory explanation on the following screen. This adaptation mechanism was the same in both conditions that received remedial explanations.

Bottom Line: In support of the active < constructive learning hypothesis, we found that the learners who received reduced explanations and inference prompts outperformed the learners who received complete explanations and engaging prompts.Moreover, revision prompts were more effective in eliciting interactive learning activities than engaging prompts.In support of the constructive < interactive learning hypothesis, the learners who received adapted remedial explanations and revision prompts as add-ons to reduced explanations and inference prompts acquired more conceptual knowledge.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Although instructional explanations are commonly provided when learners are introduced to new content, they often fail because they are not integrated into effective learning activities. The recently introduced active-constructive-interactive framework posits an effectiveness hierarchy in which interactive learning activities are at the top; these are then followed by constructive and active learning activities, respectively. Against this background, we combined instructional explanations with different types of prompts that were designed to elicit these learning activities and tested the central predictions of the active-constructive-interactive framework. In Experiment 1, N = 83 students were randomly assigned to one of four combinations of instructional explanations and prompts. To test the active < constructive learning hypothesis, the learners received either (1) complete explanations and engaging prompts designed to elicit active activities or (2) explanations that were reduced by inferences and inference prompts designed to engage learners in constructing the withheld information. Furthermore, in order to explore how interactive learning activities can be elicited, we gave the learners who had difficulties in constructing the prompted inferences adapted remedial explanations with either (3) unspecific engaging prompts or (4) revision prompts. In support of the active < constructive learning hypothesis, we found that the learners who received reduced explanations and inference prompts outperformed the learners who received complete explanations and engaging prompts. Moreover, revision prompts were more effective in eliciting interactive learning activities than engaging prompts. In Experiment 2, N = 40 students were randomly assigned to either (1) a reduced explanations and inference prompts or (2) a reduced explanations and inference prompts plus adapted remedial explanations and revision prompts condition. In support of the constructive < interactive learning hypothesis, the learners who received adapted remedial explanations and revision prompts as add-ons to reduced explanations and inference prompts acquired more conceptual knowledge.

No MeSH data available.