Effects of position and type of question on learning from prose material: Interaction of treatments with individual differences

Richard J. Shavelson, David C. Berliner, Michael M. Ravitch, David Loeding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations


Randomly assigned 72 junior college Ss to 1 of 4 treatment groups: position (before or after) and type (lower order vs higher order) of question placed in prose material. A control group (n = 15) had no questions in text. Before instruction, Ss received 5 aptitude tests. Instruction consisted of a 1,525-word prose passage. Ss were tested immediately and 2 wks after instruction. Differences in group means on 4 measures of achievement usually were statistically significant but small. A vocabulary test interacted with treatments. Based on these findings, suggestions are offered for adapting instruction to individual learning needs: Ss with low vocabulary scores might be assigned to text material with higher order questions placed after a prose passage, while Ss with high vocabulary scores might be assigned to text without questions. (23 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-48
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 1974
Externally publishedYes



  • position &
  • type of question, learning from prose material, college students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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