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论文题名:  Assimilating complex information
作   者:  Pollock, Edwina Jane 期刊名称:
作者单位:   学科分类:
年   代:  2000 出    处:
语   种:  英文 会   议:

关 键 词:  complex information
英文文摘:  Methods of instruction which are intended to facilitate understanding tend to incorporate all of the elements required for understanding in the instructions. Frequently, these types of instructions may overwhelm a learner抯 limited working memory and hinder learning. The five experiments reported in this thesis were generated by cognitive load theory. Cognitive load theory is based on the assumption that features of human cognitive architecture have important implications for how we learn and understand. The experiments examined an alternative approach to instructional design which had the goal of promoting schema construction in order to foster understanding. A two phase, isolated-interacting elements learning approach was developed which, in the first phase, artificially reduced the element interactivity of complex material by presenting the material as isolated elements of information that could be processed serially, rather than simultaneously, in working memory. In the second phase of instruction, all the information for understanding was presented. The control group抯 instruction was a more conventional approach to promoting understanding where all the information for understanding was presented in both Phase 1 and 2. Although a possible consequence of artificially reducing the element interactivity of material may be an initial decrease in a student抯 capacity for understanding, it was hypothesised that over the longer term it would lead to an increase in learners?understanding. The results reported in this thesis provide powerful evidence that for certain groups of learners, information is better learnt through the isolated-interacting elements instructional method. Evidence is also provided in support of the proposal that schema construction is the mechanism underlying the success of the isolated-interacting elements instructional method. Experiments 1 and 3 demonstrated that when novice students are required to learn complex information, the isolated-interacting elements method of instruction was superior to the control method. In contrast, no evidence was found in Experiments 2 and 4 to suggest a difference between these instructional techniques. These contrasting results can be explained by the different levels of domain knowledge possessed by the participants of each experiment. The results of Experiment 5 were similar to those of Experiments 1 and 3, namely that students performed superiorly if they had studied the isolated elements followed by interacting elements instruction. These results provide significant theoretical support for the claim that expertise is the key factor implicated in the beneficial effects associated with the isolated-interacting elements instructional technique since the participants in Experiment 5 had previously participated in Experiments 2 and 4. The difference in the outcomes of these experiments can be explained by the level of domain specific knowledge the participants of Experiment 5 had in each of the knowledge domains tested by the various experiments.
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