An experiment examined the effects of providing explicit verbal guidance to learners in integrating information with abstract or contextualized representations during computer-based learning of engineering. Verbal guidance supported learners in identifying correspondences and making mental connections among multiple textual and diagrammatic representations. Results from a 2 (abstract (A) or contextualized (C) representation) × 2 (no guidance or guidance) design showed that without guidance, abstract representations led to better transfer than contextualized representations. Moreover, learners in the contextualized representation group benefitted from the guidance, while the abstract representation group did not benefit from guidance. These findings suggest that abstract representations promote the development of deep, transferrable knowledge and that verbal guidance denoting correspondences among representations can facilitate learning when less effective representational formats are utilized.
- Attention guidance
- Multiple external representations
- Text-diagram integration
- Visual representations
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Human-Computer Interaction