Group Title: effects of individual differences on learning from writtern materials: the control of inspection behavior by test-like events
Title: The effects of individual differences on learning from writtern materials: the control of inspection behavior by test-like events
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Title: The effects of individual differences on learning from writtern materials: the control of inspection behavior by test-like events
Physical Description: xii, 205 leaves. : illus. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Wilson, John Thurlow, 1937-
Publication Date: 1973
Copyright Date: 1973
 Subjects
Subject: Learning, Psychology of   ( lcsh )
Ability -- Testing   ( lcsh )
Curriculum and Instruction thesis Ph. D
Dissertations, Academic -- Curriculum and Instruction -- UF
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
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Bibliography: Bibliography: leaves 200-203.
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: Vita.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00098381
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 000577626
oclc - 13996961
notis - ADA5324

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THE EFFECTS OF INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES ON LEARNING FROM
WRITTEN MATERIALS: THE CONTROL OF INSPECTION BEHAVIOR
BY TEST-LIKE EVENTS




By



JOHN THURLOW WILSON


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE
COUNCIL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL
FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1973































Dedicated to


the memory of my father,


NORMAN THURLOW WILSON















ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


The author wishes to express his gratitude to his

chairman, Dr. John J. Koran, Jr., for his guidance and

assistance, and to the members of his committee, Dr. John

F. Baxter, Dr. Wilson H. Guertin, Dr. Arthur J. Lewis,

and Dr. Mary Budd Rowe for their constant encouragement

and helpful suggestions.

Special thanks is also extended to Mr. Kenneth D.

Loose for his assistance in computer programming and

advice in the preparation of the data for analysis.

The author is especially indebted to Dr. Mary Lou

Koran who gave generously of her time and effort as both

a consultant and colleague. Her careful evaluation and

suggestions concerning the many facets of researching and

interpreting aptitude x treatment interactions helped

make possible the successful conduct of this research.















TABLE OF CONTENTS


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS . . . . . . . .

LIST OF TABLES..... .............

LIST OF FIGURES . . . . . . . . .

ABSTRACT.............. .......

CHAPTER
I THE PROBLEM................

Definition of the Problem. . . . .

Background to the Problem. . . .

Related Theory and Research. . . .

Definition of Mathemagenic Activity.
Research on the Control of
Mathemagenic Activity. . . . .
Implications of Research on
Mathemagenic Activity. . . . .

Definition of Variables for Aptitude x
Treatment Interaction Studies. . .

Theory of ATI Research . . . .
Identification of Relevant Aptitudes .
Ability Measures . . . . . .

Independent and Dependent Variables. .
Statement of Hypotheses. . . . .

II EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN. . . . . . .

The Design . . . . . . . .
Aptitude Measurements. . . .....
Treatment Procedures . . .. . .

Subjects .. .... ....... ..
General Procedures . .. . . .

Treatment Materials. . . . . .

Questions . . . .. . .

iv


Page
iii

vil

ix

x


1

1

1

5

5

10

17


18

18
23
29

31
32

34

34
36
38

38
38

41

41









CHAPTER Page
Reliability of Measures. . . . . 43
Methods of Data Collecting ...... 46

III RESULTS .................. 49

Independent and Dependent Measures . 49

Intercorrelations Among Measures . 50
Distribution of Scores Within Measures 54

Instructional Treatment Main Effects . 54

Acquisition of Relevant and
Incidental Information . . .. 58
Overall Post-test Performance. ... 64
Highlighting Effects . . . .. 64

Aptitude x Treatment Interactions. .. 75

Correlations of Ability Measures to
Performance. . . . . . .. 78
Evaluation for Aptitude x Treatment
Interactions . . . . . .. 84
Acquisition of Relevant and Incidental
Information from Diagrams .... 85
Acquisition of Relevant and Incidental
Information from the Texts ... 88
Overall Post-test Performance. ... 97

IV DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS. . . ... 100

Summary of Data: Hypotheses Tests . 100

Instructional Treatment Main Effects 101
Aptitude x Treatment Interactions. . 109

Individual Differences in Learning
Relevant and Incidental Information. 115
Mathemagenic Behavior: Some
Implications For Future Research . 119

Variables Which May Influence
Mathemagenic Activity . . ... 120
Conclusion . . . . . ... 124

APPENDICES ................... .. 126

APPENDIX
A DIRECTIONS TO STUDENTS . . . ... 127
B READING PASSAGES . . . . . .. 134
C INSERTED TEXT QUESTIONS. . . . ... 156









Page
APPENDIX
D INSERTED DIAGRAM QUESTIONS . . . .. 164
E POST-TEST . ....... . . . . . 172
F DATA SUMMARY FORM . . . . . 177
G DISTRIBUTIONS OF SCORES. . . . . 181

BIBLIOGRAPHY .. ..... ............ 200

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH . . . . . . ... 204















LIST OF TABLES

TABLE Page
1 ORGANIZATION OF TASK AND APTITUDE
VARIABLES IN A MULTIPROCESS MODEL OF
LEARNING ................. 26

2 EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN. . . . . ... 35

3 APTITUDE MEASURES. . . . . ... 37

4 DISTRIBUTION OF SUBJECTS BY SEX, AGE, AND
GRADE LEVEL ................ 39

5 ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE FOR TESTS OF
INDEPENDENCE BETWEEN INCIDENTAL AND
RELEVANT QUESTIONS . . . . . .. 44

6 RELIABILITY AND DIFFICULTY OF POST-TEST
QUESTIONS....... ......... . 45

7 RELIABILITY OF MEASURES. . . . ... 47

9 INDEPENDENT AND DEPENDENT MEASURES . . 51

9 INTERCORRELATIONS AMONG INDEPENDENT
MEASURES ................. 52

10 INTERCORRELATIONS AMONG DEPENDENT ... 53

11 MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS OF
INDEPENDENT VARIABLES. . . . . .. 55

12 MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS OF DEPENDENT
VARIABLES. ................ 56

13 MEANS FOR SUBSETS OF POST-TEST QUESTIONS 59

14 ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE FOR SUBSETS OF
POST-TEST QUESTIONS. . . . . ... 61

15 SCHEFFE TEST FOR DIFFERENCES BETWEEN
MEANS OF INSERTED QUESTION TREATMENT
CONDITION ON RELEVANT DIAGRAM QUESTIONS. 62

16 SCHEFFE TEST FOR DIFFERENCES BETWEEN
MEANS OF INSERTED QUESTION TREATMENT
CONDITION ON RELEVANT TEXT QUESTIONS . 63

vii











TABLE Page
17 MEANS OF POST-TEST MEASURES: TOTAL
QUESTIONS. . . . . . . . ... 65

18 ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE TOTAL POST-TEST
PERFORMANCE. ................ 66

19 PERCENTAGE OF DIAGRAM HIGHLIGHTED. ... 68

20 PERCENTAGE OF TEXT HIGHLIGHTED . . .. 69

21 ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE WITH REPEATED
MEASURE FOR TREATMENTS WITH HIGHLIGHTING 70

22 SUMMARY OF ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE OF
HIGHLIGHTING FOR SIMPLE MAIN EFFECTS . 71

23 TESTS FOR DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MEANS OF
HIGHLIGHTING DIAGRAM AT PASSAGE FOUR
USING THE NEWMAN-KEULS PROCEDURE ... . 72

24 TESTS FOR DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MEANS OF
HIGHLIGHTING DIAGRAM AT PASSAGE SEVEN
USING THE NEWMAN-KEULS PROCEDURE ... . 73

25 TESTS FOR DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MEANS OF
HIGHLIGHTING TEXT AT PASSAGE FOUR
USING THE NEWMAN-KEULS PROCEDURE ... . 74

26 INDIVIDUAL TREATMENT GROUP CORRELATIONS
FOR RELEVANT DIAGRAM QUESTIONS . . .. 79

27 INDIVIDUAL TREATMENT GROUP CORRELATIONS
FOR INCIDENTAL DIAGRAM QUESTIONS . . 80

28 INDIVIDUAL TREATMENT GROUP CORRELATIONS
FOR RELEVANT TEXT QUESTIONS. . . .. 81

29 INDIVIDUAL TREATMENT GROUP CORRELATIONS
FOR INCIDENTAL TEXT QUESTIONS. . . .. 82

30 INDIVIDUAL TREATMENT GROUP CORRELATIONS
FOR OVERALL POST-TEST PERFORMANCE. ... . 83

31 SLOPES AND INTERCEPTS FOR LINEAR
REGRESSION OF DIAGRAM QUESTIONS. ... . 86

32 SLOPES AND INTERCEPTS FOR LINEAR
REGRESSION OF TEXT QUESTIONS . . .. 90

33 SLOPES AND INTERCEPTS FOR LINEAR
REGRESSION OF TOTAL POST-TEST QUESTIONS. 98















LIST OF FIGURES


FIGURE Page
1 Percentage of Information Highlighted in
Diagrams . . . . . . ... 76

2 Percentage of Information Highlighted in
Text . . . . . . . ... 77

3 Interaction of Treatment Time With
Relevant Diagram Questions ...... 87

4 Interaction of Inserted Questions With
Relevant Diagram Questions ...... 89

5 Interaction of Object-Number With
Relevant Text Questions. . . . ... 92

6 Interaction of Treatment Time With
Relevant Questions . . . . . 93

7 Interaction of Inserted Questions With
Relevant Text Questions . . ... 95

8 Interaction of Treatment Time With
Incidental Text Questions. . . ... 96

9 Interaction of Treatment Time With
Total Post-test Questions . . .. 99









Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy


THE EFFECTS OF INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES ON LEARNING FROM
WRITTEN MATERIALS: THE CONTROL OF INSPECTION BEHAVIOR
BY TEST-LIKE EVENTS


By


John Thurlow Wilson

June, 1973


Chairman: Dr. John J. Koran, Jr.
Major Department: Curriculum and Instruction

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects

of verbal and perceptual aspects of learner aptitude, in

relation to inspection behaviors performed while learning

from written materials containing two modes of instruction-

al content. Science instructional materials containing

both text and diagrams were modified by inserting questions

that asked for information either from the text or from the

diagrams, or no questions. In addition, highlighting

(Subjects marked "important information" with a yellow felt-

tip marker) provided an additional treatment condition. It

was expected that these variations in treatment conditions

would influence the acquisition of both relevant and in-

cidental information from diagrams and texts. Furthermore,

it was anticipated that learner performance would exhibit

differential response to the treatment conditions.









One hundred eighty five subjects were randomly

assigned to one of six treatment groups in a 3 (types of

inserted questions) by 2 (highlighting or no highlighting)

factorial design. Subjects were given aptitude tests

representing verbal and perceptual abilities in addition

to treatment materials and post-test criterion measures.

Post-test measures included performance on relevant

diagram questions, incidental diagram questions, relevant

text questions, incidental text questions. The percentage

of information highlighted in the text and diagrams was

also recorded.

Comparison of performances on relevant text or

diagram questions by pairs of treatment conditions following

an overall significant F ratio disclosed that inserted

questions facilitated the acquisition of relevant informa-

tion while exerting little influence upon the acquisition

of incidental information. A repeated measures analysis

using the amount of information highlighted as the repeated

measure across written passages revealed that the change in

the percent of information highlighted from the base rate

for passage one significantly increased for diagrammatic
information, but decreased significantly for texts. Rela-

tionships between aptitude to criterion scores were

interpreted following significant F tests for heterogeneity

of regression, indicating significant intersections of

regression lines for alternative treatments. Results of

these analysis disclosed positive relationships between

xi









the number of inserted questions answered and the performance

on relevant post-test questions. Aptitude x treatment inter-

actions were found between associative memory ability and

performance on relevant text information, and also the time

spent in the treatment and the performance on relevant and

incidental post-test questions.














CHAPTER I

THE PROBLEM

Definition of the Problem

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects

of verbal and perceptual aspects of learner aptitude, in

relation to inspection behaviors performed while learning

from written materials containing two modes of instruc-

tional content.

Background to the Problem

Written materials are convenient, easily managed,

instructional stimuli. They are credited with the capa-

bility of directing learners toward predetermined outcomes

by their potential to influence the activity of the

learner. One way materials influence learning is to

present selected information in a fashion believed to be

compatible with acquisition. However, what specific

variations facilitate acquisition and how they should be

built into written materials in order to maximize learning

activities remains to be empirically determined.

Several plausible approaches for arranging written

instructional stimuli are currently being explored. One

approach presents information in a progression from one

level of prerequisite knowledge and skills to other more










complex levels. When instructional sequences were, for

instance, based upon hypothetical mathematical content

structures, they were found to be effective for the acqui-

sition of mathematics (Gagne and Paradise, 1961). This

approach to learning depends on a cumulative learning

sequence. Another approach segments the instructional

stimuli into short periods with frequent repetition of

information and practice activity as, for example, in

programmed instruction. Here, repeated exposure is

credited as a means of increasing the likelihood that the

highly redundant information will be acquired.

Neither information hierarchies nor presentation-

practice sequences can be considered as a generally

suitable approach for all learners or content. Hierar-

chies, for example, are limited to the subject area of

the hierarchy. In addition, hierarchial sequences assume

that psychological activities associated with acquisition

and performance on one level will be transferred and

performed on subsequent levels. Presentation, repetition,

and practice strategies attempt to control acquisition and

performance by dividing practice and other aspects of the

learning activity into relatively small discrete events.

The capability to generalize this approach to a wide range

of learners and conditions remains in question in view of

research which supports the notion that not all instruction-

al content can be subdivided into short segments with


I~










sub-events and trials as means to facilitate acquisition

for all types of learners (Woodworth, 1938, pp. 19-20).

Many approaches to instruction have focused only

upon the relationships between presented stimuli and

observable performances, neglecting the many possible

ways in which internal response processes work in relation

to various stimuli and overt response variables. The

fact that short segments may limit the range of these

internal learner responses supports the objective of

controlling the variance of acquisition among learners,

but it also illuminates why more complex learning tasks,

which are considered to be dependent upon a wider range

of internal processes, are perhaps not suitable as

content for highly segmented or hierarchial instruction.

The possibility has received little consideration that

the internal responses learners perform during instruction

may be both educationally desirable and manageable. In

addition, tactics for managing these activities may be

generalizable across content tasks.

Ausubel (1968) has suggested that meaningful learning

occurs when internal processes of the learner associates

new information with subsuming concepts already in their

cognitive structure. Written materials would promote

effective processing by presenting content in "meaningful

contexts." When suitable subsuming concepts do not

already exist in the learner's cognitive structure, the

concept can be presented in advance of the new information.


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Ausubel calls concepts when presented in this manner,

"advance organizers." Their effectiveness has been

empirically demonstrated (Ausubel and Fitzgerald, 1962;

Koran, J. J. and Koran, M. L., In Press).

Learning activity can also be directed by placing

cues and prompts, such as questions, directions, dia-

grams, examples, within the written material. These

direct the learner into the vicinity of the instructional

objective (Hall, Lund, and Jackson, 1968), guide the

selecting and processing of appropriate instructional

objectives (Walker and Buckley, 1968), and shape the

selection and processing of appropriate stimulus compo-

nents (Bruning, 19681 Rothkopf, 1966; Frase, 1969). All

these activities are classified as mathemagenic activities

(Rothkopf, 1963). While some are considered to be gross

motor in nature, such as manipulating objects, and there-

fore are observable and easy to measure, others include

such covert inspection and processing activities as

scanning, translating, formulating mental associations,

discriminating, focusing, elaborating, and categorizing.

The potential for instructional flexibility derived from

the manipulation of mathemagenic activity underscores the

need for their careful study.

It is the intent of this study to examine certain

effects associated with inspection behavior, a subset of

mathemagenic activity.


_Y_____r____P________rll__- .










Related Theory and Research


Definition of Mathemagenic Activity


The concept of mathemagenic behavior focuses upon

the observable and hypothetical activity learners perform

when confronted with instructional stimuli. The term,

mathemagenic was derived by Rothkopf from the two Greek

roots mathema, which means "that which is learned" and

gignesthai, which means "to be born." Therefore,

mathemagenic behaviors are activities which give birth

to learning (Rothkopf, 1965).

In describing how humans learn from written materials,

a distinction can be made between the physical stimulus

presented to the learner and the effective stimulus encoded

by various internal processing activities performed by the

learner (Rothkopf, 1970). This distinction simply implies

that the physical stimulus is not in simple correspondence

to the stimulus that has an effect upon psychological

learning activity. The wide gap that probably exists

between these stimuli may be the result of differential

orientation of attention, structural variations of the

sensory receptor surfaces, or even extent to which the

learner transforms or elaborates the physical stimulus.

However, since these effective stimuli become the basis

for all subsequent psychological learning activity, their

character determines what is learned (Rothkopf, 1970).


1___~_____~_/_1_1__~______1___ p___









When learning from written materials, the learner

must perform a prolonged and skilled activity, namely

reading, if the desired instructional outcomes are to be

achieved. Reading includes many mathemagenic activities

both observable or hypothetical in nature. Observable

activities may include orienting activities which direct

learners into the vicinity of instructional objects and

keep them there for suitable time periods; other activities

serve to select and procure appropriate instructional

objects once in the vicinity (Rothkopf, 1970). Hypothet-

ical activities may also be performed and are, in general,

of greater interest to research in view of their potential

to facilitate learning.

One group of hypothetical mathemagenic behaviors is

called translation and refers to activities where learners

scan the written page and translate the alphabetic display

into the sound of words or their subvocal surrogates. This

process is considered preliminary to encoding selected

bits of these alphabetic displays as elements of effective

stimuli. Translation in itself is not enough, as verified

when learners encounter difficult and boring written

materials. Here translation may deteriorate into dis-

orientation, an observable mathemagenic activity leading

away from the instructional goal.
Another hypothetical behavior, often referred to as

segmentation, includes learner activities that break the

stimulus string into syntactic and other unit components









(Rothkopf, 1965). Segmentation generally attempts to

account for the formulation of meaningful associative

units within sentences as well as the more complex units

associated between sentences.

A third hypothetical activity called processing,

collectively includes a variety of mental activities

learners perform with information such as reviewing,

categorizing, elaborating, devising mnemonic associations,

and other activities process information (Rothkopf, 1968).

These activities all function to elaborate ways learners

can incorporate prior earnings into otherwise unfamiliar

written stimuli. They may potentially account for some of

the vast variance between individual performances resulting

from exposure to identical instructional stimuli.

While these categories of mathemagenic activities do

not exhaust all possibilities, they have received attention

because of their potential for research as well as their

hypothesized involvement with acquisition. However,

because these behaviors are mostly intervening variables,

they require indirect measurement. Consequently when

dealing with them, assumptions must be made by the

research, concluding that these activities are persistent,

topographical, exhibit rate characteristics, and modifiable

by certain environmental events.

In order for mathemagenic hypotheses to become

functional, ways to influence learning behaviors must be

identified. Since these behaviors are basically sensitive









to elements within the physical stimulus, variations

within this stimulus can be incorporated which exert

influence upon selected mathemagenic behavior. In this

sense, the physical stimulus can be designed to include

prompts and cues that shape the mathemagenic behavior.

The success of their influence upon specific mathemagenic

activity follows the notion that the behaviors can be

shaped. However, implicit in this notion is that the

learner responds in a manner guided by stimuli and re-

inforced by the success of his generating suitable responses.

Certain cuing or prompting techniques can be associated

with each behavior identified above. Segmentation which in-

volves selecting key bits of associated information, may be

influenced by sentence order and relational wordage,

including verb selection, tense, or proximity of key parts

within the sentence (Anderson, 1970). Translation, which

involves interpreting a stimulus string with suitable

Inflection, may be influenced by exposing learners to

audio models of stimulus strings or underlining groups of

words that receive special emphasis by inflection. Process-

ing activities may be greatly influenced by directions,

test-like events, and other cues which direct attention or

review activity toward important classes of information

within the reading activity.

Controlling mathemagenic activity means to exert an

influence upon the formulation of the effective learning

stimuli. Potentially these stimuli may reflect associations










between new information elaborated by prior learning.

However, they may or may not be consistent with the

instructional objective. Therefore, mathemagenic

activities are considered to be effective when they

facilitate acquisition and hence the attainment of

instructional objectives.

In summary, a mathemagenic hypothesis recognizes a

difference between the physical stimuli of instructional

material and the effective stimuli learners construct

for themselves using various covert and overt behaviors.

Instructional materials which emphasize sequenced and

segmented bits of information for practice and acquisition

generally consider the physical and effective stimulus to

be the same. Furthermore, the act of segmenting instruc-

tion into small bits may well encourage deterioration of

several essential mathemagenic activities. Therefore,

research into ways to shape and manipulate the mathemagenic

activity potentially can lead to flexible use of instruc-

tional materials by reducing the need to task analyze and

restructure all written materials. In addition, mathema-

genic activities identify many variables potentially

useful for describing individual differences between

learners. After all, adequate description is an important

prerequisite to effective prescription. Finally, mathema-

genic approach concentrates on maintaining learner

behaviors that produce learning. In so doing, it attempts


~I_____









to capitalize on the adaptive, error-correcting charac-

teristics of human learning behavior (Rothkopf, 1968).

Research on the Control of
Mathemagenic Activity

Interest in mathemagenic activity grew out of the

use of questions within frames of programmed materials.

Variations in question placement, frequency of questions,

and predictability of response were found to influence

performance in terms of acquisition and retention of

information (Rothkopf, 1963). While the possibility

exists that the variable use of questions may have a

direct influence upon the acquisition of content per se,

differences in acquisition indicate that questions may

also influence mathemagenic activity relative to the

processing of the instructional material. Perhaps

variable use of prompts and cues, such as questions, could

be selected and utilized within instructional materials

according to their alleged potential to influence processing

and thereby facilitate acquisition, rather than their more

common utilization based upon their relationship to content

structures. Consequently, studies of mathemagenic activity

and factors that influence them may ultimately describe,

from a generalizable perspective, ways to facilitate

learning.
Hypothetical mathemagenic activities have received

experimental attention and evidence is available that they

are modifiable external events. Directions are one type










of event which seem to influence these activities.

Generally, research with directions have dealt with

either directions of intent or manipulative directions

for influencing search activity. Postman and Sanders

(1946), for example, found that directions to learn

specific classes from text material may influence learning,

but their findings also demonstrated that facilitation was

not necessarily in keeping with the intent of the directions.

Three other studies (Bruning, 1968i Rothkopf, 1966; Tenenberg,

1969) indicated that vague oratory directions of intent affect

learner's mathemagenic activity sufficiently to elevate post

reading performance. Specific directions to find certain

items of information in a test can also influence incidental

learning, in addition to the direct acquisition of relevant

items (Frase, 1969).

Evidence concerning the influence upon acquisition

and retention through manipulation of the written passage

itself indicates that variations in sentence order and

repetition can alter inspection behavior associated with

reading. When reading passages provided immediate

repetition of sentences containing key attributive

information, poor retention and acquisition resulted on

post-tests even when the phrasing of the repeated sentence

had been changed upon repetition (Rothkopf and Coke, 1966).

Repeated exposure to the entire written passages resulted

in increasing post-test performances with a maximum effect

appearing after two such inspections (Rothkopf, 1968).










Furthermore, findings also suggested that the amount of

learning relative to each reinspection of the written

passage decreases, causing the learning curve to exhibit a

negative acceleration. Finally, performances on most

post-tests indicate that inserted questions generally

have a larger measurable effect on the retention of informa-

tion relevant to the questions than the incidental

information (Frase, 196Bb).

In studies concerned with the influence of hypothetical

mathemagenic activity such as inspection behavior, it is

important to demonstrate that instructional events do

exert an influence upon the activity and accordingly a

direct instructional effect upon acquisition. Direct

instructional effects have been reported by many studies

(Hershberger, 1964; Keislar, 1960; Rothkopf, 1963, 1965,

1966; Rothkopf and Coke, 1966) which generally.contributed

the effect to the repetition and practice learners perform

when responding to content loaded questions. However, in

order to demonstrate that the performance on a post-test

is due to modified inspection behavior and not practice

and repetition of content within questions, an experimental

technique is required. An explanation of this technique

will perhaps clarify some of the research findings

associated with hypothetical mathemagenic activity.

Generally, studies using questions are incidental

learning studies where performances are measured on a

second set of questions similar to the experimental










questions. The experimental questions, often referred to

as adjunct questions, are those placed at various locations

within the instructional text material itself. However,

the information necessary to answer the second set of

questions, usually included on a post-test with the

experimental questions, is identified as information

incidental to the experimental questions. Hence, if a

mathemagenic activity, such as inspection behavior, has

been influenced positively, the subjects receiving the

experimental questions inserted into the instructional

material ought to acquire more incidental information

than those subjects who do not receive the experimental

questions. In this manner, any measured change between

groups cannot be attributed to direct instructional effects

of the question's content.

An important characteristic of questions, in addition

to their potential to influence hypothetical activity

related to learning, is their position in relation to the

relevant content. Ample evidence is available to support

the findings that a simple change in position can radically

transform consequent behaviors associated with reading.

Several studies (Bruning, 1968; Frase, 1967, 1968a;

Rothkopf, 1966; Rothkopf and Bisbicos, 1967) show that

experimental questions administered shortly after inspecting

the text segment to which they are relevant produce

significant gains in incidental learning. Questions when

placed before relevant text material were found to provide










significant depressing effects upon acquisition of

incidental learning (Frase, 1968; Rothkopf, 1970). It

was also found that when the frequency of questions

placed before readings was increased, the acquisition of

incidental and relevant information decreased. Questions

inserted into text and placed after relevant segments of

readings were found to promote an increase in acquisition

of incidental and relevant information as their frequency

increased (Frase, 1968a, 1968b). The general implication

of these studies is that placing relevant questions after

paragraphs may positively influence both a review and a

general facilitative effect upon acquisition of information.

Most experimental uses of questions inserted into

textual material have been designed to elicit responses

beat described as factual recall. While questions asked

in school learning situations are certainly focused on more

complex responses, taxonomies currently in popular use

lack the precision needed in order to identify or specify

these more complex responses (Frase, 1970). In view of

this problem, types of questions generally were operationally

defined by each researcher. Rothkopf and Bisbicos (1967),

for example, asked different types of questions defined in

terms of asking for definitions of common or technical

terms. They found that groups exposed to inserted questions

with technical terms had high recall of other technical

terms. Frase (1968c) defined questions as either a

comparative question, a specific question, or a general










question. Questions were rated by indicating the amount

of information within the written passage considered by

the learner to be relevant to answering the question.

Ratings indicated that the number of words perceived as

necessary to answer questions increased in order of

specific questions, comparative questions, and then general

questions. In a follow up study (Frase, 1970), acquisition

of relevant and incidental information was found to be a

function of question type. Here, the least learning

occurred with the general question, the most with specific

questions. This was attributed to the learner modified

behavior in accordance with the amount of information to be

processed. In a recent study (Watts and Anderson, 1971),

questions were defined in terms of response. Here, names

of principles, examples from text, or names of psychologists

associated with principles were response types. Their

findings imSicated that subjects given application questions

perform significantly better than subjects with other

questions.

Even though no central system was used for describing

question type for classifying the nature of the written

material, certain observations are possible to make in

summary. Questions may stimulate learners to review the

information encoded in their memory, considered as relevant

to the topic of the question. If the content of the prose

contains little information that seems relevant to the

question, such as few names of psychologists or technical









terms, then the amount of information for review is less

than when prose contains a lot of information similar to

the topic. This relationship between question type and

the amount of similar information is also an important

consideration when selecting questions which are to

influence inspection behavior. If the prose contains

little information of a nature similar to the type of

response required, then inspection behaviors seem to be-

come exclusive and few items of information are sought

out. This notion is supported by research where similar

responses were highly predictable. Here, subjects recalled

significantly less incidental information than subjects

whose responses were less predictable (Rothkopf, 19661 Watts

and Anderson, 1971).

The learning that results from the insertion of

questions into instructional materials has been empirically

associated with several instructional variables including

positioning, frequency, and type of questions. However,

only a very beginning of a research attempt has been done

to associate these variables with learner characteristics.

Koran, M. L. and Koran, J. J. (1972) predicted that the

pacing of questions would exhibit varying facilitative

effects, depending upon specific learner differences in

learning ability. Their findings indicated that measures

of learner associative memory abilities were positively

related to performance when subjects received inserted ques-

tions, but unrelated when they received no inserted questions.









However, scores on vocabulary measures were positively

related to performance when no questions or infrequent

questions were inserted into the written material.

These findings support the notion that instructional

variables, such as the pacing of questions, can enable

learners to capitalize on various learning characteristics

and aptitudes. The Koran, M. L. and Koran, J. J. (1972)

study represents an initial effort to match or select

instructional treatment variations to selected learner

characteristics. Additional research and replication is

necessary before decision rules can be formulated to

predict the assignment of learners to alternative

instructional treatments designed to facilitate their

attainment of identical outcomes.

Implications of Research on
Mathemaqenic Activity


Incidental learning effects in the aforementioned

context have been attributed to the control which the

questions inserted into text material exercise over

mathemagenic activities. This assumes that behaviors

subsequent to the inserted questions are modified Often

referred to as "forward shaping" (Watts and Anderson, 1971),

questions are assumed to act as cues in that they indicate

classes of information that should be learned. When this

class of information enables the subject to answer the

question, he is reinforced just for being able to answer









the question and therefore the likelihood is that he will

again look for this same kind of information.

Questions, however, may also serve to influence the

learner activity in another way. When faced with the

problem of answering the question, the learner may

mentally review the information he considers to be rele-

vant to the cues found within the question. This mental

review acts as additional practice, a variable of instruc-

tion well known for its direct effects upon increasing

acquisition of information. This mental review has been

referred to by Watts and Anderson (1971) as "backward

review."

'Forward shaping" and "backward review" remain a

prominent controversy without empirical evidence. In view

of the plea by Koran, M. L. and Koran, J. J. (1972) to

relate instructional variables to learner characteristics,

such evidence should be collected in a fashion as to enable

an association of performance variations with differences

between individual learners.

Definition of Variables for
Aptitude x Treatment Interaction Studies


Theory of ATI Research

A continuous problem related to the development of

effective instruction is that of determining the most

effective methods for training large numbers of individuals

possessing dissimilar patterns of abilities. A common










strategy has been to seek "the one best method of instruc-

tion." However, learners differ, and the search for the

one generally superior method should be supplemented by

a search for multiple ways in which instruction can be

varied so as to fit the characteristics of learners

(Cronbach and Snow, 1969).

As Cronbach (1957) has argued:

Treatments are characterized by many dimensions;
so are persons. The two sets of dimensions
together determine a payoff surface . Ulti-
mately we should design treatments not to fit
the average person, but to fit groups of students
with particular aptitude patterns which correspond
to modifiable aspects of the treatment (pp. 680,
681).

An implication of this statement is that we should not

ignore interactions between learners' aptitudes and various

instructional treatments, but adapt instructional treat-

ments to learners' aptitudes. In 1965, Cronbach (1965)

developed a theoretical framework to deal with the nature

of different aptitudes and differing instructional

treatments. He called these studies aptitude treatment

interaction studies, or more commonly called ATI studies.

The concept of ATI is neither new nor limited to

educational settings. In Darwin's view, natural selection

operates to favor whatever species or subspecies that has

characteristics suited to a particular set of environmental

conditions. If the environmental conditions change a

different kind of organism is favored. The concept of

a single rank ordering applied either to organisms or

environments ignoresthe fundamental principle that it is










the interaction between the characteristics of the

organism and the demands of the environment that determines

survival or elimination. Similarly, the current search

for ATI is based on the premise that there is no one best

educational environment suited to some general, average

individual, but that different individuals thrive in

different educational environments suited to their own

characteristics and needs (Koran, M. L., 1973).

Practically speaking, an interaction between aptitude

and treatment is present when one instructional treatment

is significantly better for one type of learner, while an

alternative treatment is significantly better for a

different type of learner. Specifically, in order for

instructional treatments to exhibit ATI, there must be

different instructional methods, the instructional methods

must teach to the same objective or criterion, and there

must exist one or more aptitude measures for which regression

of criterion scores on the aptitudes are generally non-

parallel.

There are essentially two different interactions

which may result; they may be either ordinal or disordinal

in nature (Cronbach and Snow, 1969). A disordinal inter-

action is one in which the regression slopes intersect

within the range of the aptitudes being considered, as

shown in the figure below.


-j~-~*lu;i~cir--~1YBO~sy9ld~ilrTZRrr_~C _rut.- I~










hi
Treatment 1

Criterion
Score

l < Treatment 2
lo

lo hi
Aptitude


Disordinal Interaction


Such findings imply, in general, that differential assign-

ment of subjects on opposite sides of the intersection to

alternative treatments is an appropriate means for

maximizing learning outcomes (Koran, M. L., 1973). An

ordinal interaction is present when the regression functions

have different slopes, but one is superior to the other

through the range of aptitudes being considered.

The general objective of ATI research is to match

instructional methods or materials to selected learner

characteristics. Therefore, unless one treatment is

clearly best for all, treatments should be differentiated

in such a way as to maximize their interactions with

aptitude variables. A moderate number of studies in which

aptitude-treatment interactions have been deliberately

sought (Cronbach and Snow, 1969; Berliner and Cahen, 1973)

provides preliminary evidence to suggest that subjects may

learn more easily from one method than another. Further-

more, this best method differs from subject to subject and

that such a difference between treatments is related to

learner characteristics.


___I__L_________Cr_______9~__1__1_ __ P ___^










For the purpose of ATI research, aptitude has been

defined as any characteristic of the individual which

functions selectively with respect to learning; that is,

which facilitates or interferes with his learning from

some designated instructional method (Cronbach and Snow,

1969). This definition allows such variables as task-

specific knowledge and skills, cognitive styles,

personality characteristics and heuristic strategies to

be considered as well as the more traditional cognitive

ability variables.

A major problem in the study of ATI is the inordi-

nately large number of learner characteristics which might

be considered in adapting instruction to individual

differences. Furthermore, few of these differences have

been shown to be correlated with specific learning outcomes

under specific instructional methods in the particular

population specified. Even the treatments themselves are

limited in description which lack precise identification of

task or treatment variables.

It is not uncommon in ATI research to find two

treatments; one of which relies more heavily on general

ability than the other. Some research report instances

in which a treatment will help those of low ability while

actually hindering high ability students (Salamon and Suppees,

In Press; Koran, Snow and McDonald, 1971). However, there

has been little real progress to date in identifying

heuristics for developing treatments that actually

capitalize on aptitudes other than general ability.


__ __~___ _r_










Generally, research is needed to identify the kinds

of abilities and processes required by various tasks. Then,

the conditions assessed as necessary for learning the task

could either be adapted to identified individual differences

or the individual might be taught how to engage more

effectively in these processes (Glaser, 1972).

Identification of Relevant Aptitudes

The acquisition and subsequent retention of informa-

tion from instructional sequences can be analyzed as a

function of numerous variables including learner predis-

positions and variations within the treatment materials.

While these variables can be factor analyzed in order to

relate performance to a number of reference tests, such as

analysis must be guided by theories of human learning and

performance in order to facilitate the interpretation of

results. Melton's (1967) multiprocess model of learning

is considered to be a suitable framework for investigating

instructional differences and mediational requirements

between specific instructional variables.


rm(sm)




sI--- rl(81i) Ra Rc

Multiprocess Model of Learning


~~~~_ _____ ~I_IYC-LUI--.-- X










This model presents three major components that help

interpret certain instructional phenomena. The first of

these is a stimulus differentiation component [Sl__rl]

in which the subject receives the physical stimulus [S1]

and selects and encodes certain stimuli as stimulus cues

[rl(sl)J. The potential stimulus is considered to be the

entire stimulus situation of the learning environment.

The encoded stimulus becomes the effective or functional

stimulus in S-R association, and reflects learning set,

identification and categorization factors, as well as the

physical stimulus. Instructional materials attempt to

indicate the relevant aspect of the physical stimulus

through the selection of reading passages, questions,

diagrams, summaries, and other instructional components.

From this, the student selects particular aspects which

become the stimulus cues. Directions, instructions,

elicitations, or models that direct this selection are

called prompts. The encoded response [rl(s1)] becomes the

effective or functional stimulus for subsequent psycho-

logical learning activities.
The response integration component [RRbRc is the

output response and includes certain learning behaviors

such as naming, classifying, or chaining as well as the

specific content presented in the instructional materials.

Such behavior may be a previously learned unit [Ra or a

new combination of units [RaRR] or even a chain of

responses from one stimulus situation [Ra ++Rcl.









The "hookup" is the connection [rl(Sl)___._RaRRcl

between the functional stimulus [rl(s1)], and the acquired

response IRaRcl. The component [rm(sm)] presents an

alternative mediational route for the connection of internal

representation of the physical stimulus and the acquired

response. The mediational route is especially important

in examining ways learners can use prior learning with new

but recognizably similar stimuli. The associational and

mediational routes correspond to the internal processes of

the task being analyzed.

Differences and similarities in task and aptitude

variables involved in learning from different modes of

information within instructional material may be repre-

sented in terms of this paradigm. This representation is

presented in Table 1. The organization of ability

measures within the modes has been somewhat arbitrary.

Measures identified are sufficiently diverse to suggest

that there is reason to consider alternative placement.

Some measures may also be characterized by overlapping

several placements. However, it should be emphasized that

this model has been used as a heuristic device in attempting

to select and organize task and ability variables. It is

not intended that the present organization be accepted as

definitive. Further research will be required to clarify

the use of this model.
Textual information presents specifics in verbal form

and assigns them meaning by direct association within the















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sentence as well as by association between specifics of

different sentences. Subjects reading textual information

must first differentiate relevant specifics and their

associations and then code these in memory. Consequently,

textual modes of information present stimulus differentia-

tion tasks that would require abilities in comprehension of

verbal information and short term memory.

The many possibilities for meaningful associations

within textual information increases the mediational

requirements. Subjects learning from textual information

would generate an associate structure for processing the

various stimulus specifics and their associations. This

structure generation would require many abilities including

verbal association.

Diagramatic information presents specifics in a

symbolic form which attains meaning from both the symbolic

representation, any labels or verbal identifications

provided, and its relationship to the other parts in the

diagram. Subjects learning from diagrams with many parts

and various modes of information would need abilities in

perception in order to differentiate stimulus components.

Quickly inspecting and processing multiple kinds of

information, selectively attending to relevant details

over incidental ones is a task similar to what is commonly

called flexibility of closure (Thurstone, 1944).

Diagrams can be considered to present specifics

within an organizational schema of associations between









specifics through their visual proximity and sequence.

While stimulus differentiation may assess associations

between the symbols and the labels, mediational require-

ments include generating some associational structure for

proximity and sequence. This task receives support from

the diagram itself which supplies an organizational

structure. Consequently, the mediational requirements

for learning from diagramatic information could require

subjects to recall specifics and associate them with the

diagramatic structures provided within the diagrams.

Finally, the response integration for both modes of

information require subjects to recall or review specifics

and associations relevant to response conditions. This

task would require abilities in verbal comprehension and

verbal association.
Processes that subjects perform during a learning

task are assumed to be influenced by external conditions.

These conditions may include instructional tactics such

as inserting questions into textual material or instructing

subjects to mark important information. If these condi-

tions were to influence processing activity, they probably

would have their greatest effect on tasks where the tactics

either support or compensate for the aptitude required by

the tasks. Hence, marking important information would

have its greatest effect on tasks where selective perception

to detail would be essential, such as when learning from

diagramatic information. Probably, subjects with low


I










perception abilities would benefit most from this tactic.

Questions, on the other hand, which identify classes of

information and their possible relational structures,

would have their greatest effect on tasks where classes

of information and their associations are not readily

apparent, such as in textual information. Subjects with

high verbal skills would probably benefit the least from

frequent questioning.

Ability Measures

The selection of ability measures for use in this

study was made from the Kit of Reference Tests for

Cognitive Factors (French, Ekstrom, and Price, 1963).

The abilities assessed by the selected measures were

believed to be those which clearly contribute to learning

from the two modes of information and are consistent with

the analysis of textual and diagrammatic information modes

previously discussed.

The Kit of Reference Tests for Cognitive Factors

consists of a group of tests representing frequently

obtained factors in the cognitive ability area. Since

these tests are not standardized batteries of exams, the

manual does not provide reliability, validity, norms, or

other information usually included with a test manual.

However, this exclusion is consistent with the general

intention that the tests were designed for cognitive


~-~---I---"~-~'-~"---~~---~' -I~-_--+u~-- -------------m__--~__~










factor research. Users must calculate reliability of the

instruments employed using suitable analyses.

A brief description of the ability tests and the

factors they represent follows.

Hidden Patterns (Cf-2) is a test of the ability to

keep one or more definite configurations in mind so as to

make identification in spite of perceptual distraction.

The subject is required to search a perceptual field

containing irrelevant or distracting materials in order

to find one given configuration.

Vocabulary (V-2) is a test of the ability to under-

stand the English language. Individual differences are

perhaps most clearly seen in the size of comprehensive

vocabularies, but they also exist with respect to tests

demanding knowledge and understanding of grammatical

patterns, sentences, idiomatic phrases, and other aspects

of the English language. However, vocabulary tests are

more desirable than tests of grammar and other language

features because, on the whole, their loadings on Factor V

are high and less likely to have loadings on other factors.

Object-Number (Ma-2) is a test of the ability to

remember bits of unrelated material. This factor represents

the ability to form and remember new associations quickly.

Auditory Letter Span (Ms-3) is a test of the ability

to recall perfectly for immediate reproduction a series of

items after only one presentation of the series.


I~ I __









Number Comparison (P-2) is a test measuring the speed

in finding figures, making comparisons, and charting out

other very simple tasks involving visual perceptual speed. It

is considered to be the centroid of several sub-factors

such as speed of symbol discrimination, speed of making

comparisons, forming discrimination, and speed of

classification. However, they also serve a useful purpose

when considered as the unitary concept of perceptual speed.

Independent and Dependent Variables


The purpose of this study was to investigate the

effects of learner aptitudes, in relation to inspection

behaviors performed when learning from written materials.

As an intervening variable, inspection behavior is a

hypothetical construct for which evidence must be inferred.

However, it is also considered to be sensitive to inserted

adjunct questions located within the relevant written

material. Whether or not inspection behavior is influenced

by the adjunct questions can be inferred by comparing

performances on a post-test performance between groups

that received the adjunct questions and groups that did

not. Here, differences in the information acquired that

is incidental to the adjunct questions is considered to

be an indirect measure of inspection behavior.
The dependent variables in this study include the

between-group differences in performance of incidental

information. Adjunct questions, when they appear on the










post-test, are also dependent measures of the direct

instructional effects of the inserted adjunct questions.

Even though the process of subjects highlighting informa-

tion within the written material can be identified as an

independent variable, the resulting patterns of information

contribute another dependent measure for inferring the

nature of inspection activity of the subjects.

When aptitudes are included in addition to the

instructional variables built into the instructional

treatment, then differential performance of the treatment

group can be compared by regressing the aptitude measure

on the post-test performance. In this manner, a relation-

ship can be established between learner characteristics and

instructional variables that influence inspection behavior

and acquisition. Hence, student behavior, mathemagenic

activity, and the constructs which influence it are inde-

pendent variables. Aptitude measures are also independent

measures and the dependent variables again become the post-

test measure of both relevant and incidental information

acquired.

Statement of Hypotheses


Based upon the previously reviewed research and theory,

the following hypotheses were tested.

1. Subjects receiving treatments with adjunct

questions inserted into the written passage










will exhibit significantly greater acquisi-

tion of relevant information than the

control group.

2. Subjects receiving treatments with adjunct

questions based upon diagrammatic information

inserted into the written material will

exhibit significantly greater acquisition of

incidental information from diagrams than

groups that did not receive diagrammatic

adjunct questions.

3. Subjects receiving treatments with adjunct

questions based upon textual information

inserted into the written passage will

exhibit significantly greater acquisition

of incidental information from text than

groups that did not receive textual adjunct

questions.

4. There will be a significant influence on

performance for subjects who receive treat-

ments in which they highlight information

in the written materials.

5. There will be a differential relationship

between criterion performances and aptitudes

of subjects, relative to the treatment

received.














CHAPTER II


EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN


The Design


A post-test only, control group design as described

in Table 2, was executed with four experimental and two

control groups. While this design does not assess enter-

ing behavior, it does permit an adequate evaluation of the

relative effects that an independent variable, question

type, has upon a dependent variable, the acquisition of

information from different modes of instructional material

(Kirlinger, 1964, p. 303). This design also facilitates

asking the question of whether or not questions serve to

stimulate review or shape the inspection behavior of the

subsequent passages. The design, therefore, provides a

means for contrasting acquisition after reading and

answering inserted questions, as well as the effect these

questions had upon subjects' inspection activity within

each reading passage. Hence, the written materials were

selected to include both texts and diagrams as sources of

information. Questions were then written that required

information from either one or the other source. High-

lighting, or marking with a yellow felt-tip marker, was

used to monitor the inspection behavior of the subject.



























0 0 0 0


um '
0 0


4J






























100
V ,


0 0~
0 0
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to x













xx x









Aptitude Measurements


Subjects were tested after their participation in

the experimental procedures. As shown in Table 3, test

time was limited to a single forty-five minute period

during the school day due to the constraints encountered

in the cooperating schools. The tests were assembled

into a single booklet and administered using an audio-

recording of all the necessary instructions, practice

exercises, times, and additional auditory test materials

as required by certain tests.

While all subjects could not be tested at one time,

groups were all tested in a like manner. Since members of

each class had previously been randomly assigned to one of

the six treatment groups, any regressive effects caused by

testing during classes of a regular school day were also

randomly distributed to all treatments.

Tests were hand scored by a trained rater, working

under the direction of the experimenter. Objective test

scoring keys were used on all tests. The scores reported

were always the number of items right except on those tests

where choices were dichotomous; here, scores were cal-

culated by subtracting wrong choices from correct choices

in order to correct for guessing.

























'sc
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Treatment Procedures


Subjects


Nil.th through twelfth grade students enrolled in high-

school chemistry and physics were identified as suitable

subjects on the basis of the complexity and scientific

nature of the content presented in the written materials.

A total of 185 subjects were selected from two local high

schools. Relevant characteristics of these treatment

samples appear in Table 4.


General Procedures


Subjects participated in the experiment during the

period that they normally would have had a chemistry or a

physics class. Since these classes are seldom found to

have students who are alike in ability or interest,

subjects within each class were randomly assigned to one

of the six treatments.

After subjects were given a brief introduction to

the experiment, they were provided with the appropriate

booklet containing both the treatment materials and the

post-test. Highlighters (yellow felt-tip pens) were

provided for subjects assigned to treatment which required

them.

Although a common practice is to read all directions

aloud to all subjects in order to encourage closer

compliance, this was not feasible in this experiment











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since subjects during administration had different treat-

ments and hence different directions. Therefore, they

were instructed to read the directions carefully and

independently.

Four sets of directions were written. Subjects

that were assigned to treatments with inserted questions

were given a page of "Directions for Answering Study Items."

(All direction pages are included in Appendix A.) Study

item directions informed subjects that self-test questions

would be given at the end of each reading passage and that

they should attempt to recall the information necessary

and attempt to answer it, even if their answer is only a

guess. Only subjects that were in treatments with high-

lighting were given a page of "Directions for Highlighting,"

which demonstrated how to highlight both text and diagram

portions of the reading passage. Subjects were directed

to highlight all the information they considered important

and worth remembering in order to answer the post-test

items. All subjects were given a page of "General Direc-

tions" which encouraged them to read and study both the

diagrams and the written information; these directions also

informed them that a set of test items would be given

after all reading passages asking for specific information

from each passage. All subjects were given a page of

"Directions for Answering Test Items" at the conclusion of

all treatment materials. The subjects were encouraged to

answer all questions, even if some answers were guesses.










Treatment Materials


Written Passages


Seven reading passages were selected from Dr. Posin's

Giants (Posin, 1961). (These passages are included in

Appendix B.) This number was found to be the maximum

number that most students could complete with enough time

remaining for the post-test within the constraints of a

forty-five minute class period. Each passage is about 225

words long and is presented on two pages with one diagram

on each page. Diagrams were modified to include labels.

The number of sentences in 'he text varied from eight to

twenty, while the number of sp-a4" "ded in the

diagram varied from ten to twenty. The content presented

in the diagram and text contained redundant as well as

independent specifics. The latter information became the

content for questions.


Questions

Questions varied in terms of the source of the in-

formation needed for a response. One type of question

required information from the text while a second type

required information from diagrams. Question complexity

was controlled in that all were limited to the recall of

specific information, such as the names of symbols,

objects, definitions, events, properties, or processes.


_ _










Four questions were written for each passage; two of

these asked for text information and two for diagram

information. Each of these questions were then assigned

to one of four groups: Relevant Text Questions, Incidental

Text Questions, Relevant Diagram Questions, Incidental

Diagram Questions. As a result, the composition of each

set of questions contained one question from each passage.

Treatments with inserted questions received either the

Relevant Text Questions or Relevant Diagram Questions.

(These questions are included in Appendix C and D respec-

tively.) All questions were combined and randomly

ordered to make up the post-test. (The post-test is

included in Appendix E.)

Questions were tested in order to determine their

relative independence. Questions are considered to be

independent when knowing the response to one question

does not cue the subject to a correct response for the

others. Independence must be established for questions

in this study in order to assume that between-group

performance differences on Incidental questions is due to

differences in inspection behavior. Subjects (N=60)

were randomly assigned to three groups. One group was

given the fourteen pairs of questions with Relevant

questions answered, the second group was given the same

questions with Incidental questions answered, and the third

group was given the same questions with neither set of

questions answered. The means and standard deviations for










all groups, in addition to the results from ANOV tests

for significant differences are reported in Table 5. The

insignificance of the F test was accepted as sufficient

evidence that knowing the responses to one set of questions

does not contribute to answering the other set of questions.

Therefore the two sets of question pairs were considered to

be independent.

Reliability of Measures


Twenty-eight questions were written comprising the

criterion measure. A point bi-serial correlational

technique was selected to evaluate their reliability. This

technique is considered to be a suitable means to estimate

a question's potential to discriminate between subjects

who score in the top half and those in the bottom half of

the group being tested. A point bi-serial correlation of

0.222 (p <.01) was considered minimum for acceptable

reliability for individual criterion items. Bi-serial

correlations for the questions are reported in Table 6.

Reliabilities of all questions were found to be acceptable.

The difficulties for the twenty-eight questions were

calculated and are also reported in Table 6. Difficulty,

here, is defined to be the percent of the subjects failing

to answer the question correctly. The higher the percent,

the more difficult the item. The mean difficulty was

0.669, while the range of difficulties varied from 0.174

to 0.940. The research on the effects of questioning and

















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TABLE 6


RELIABILITY AND DIFFICULTY OF
POST-TEST QUESTIONS


Question Difficulty Reliability*
1 .826 .476
2 .418 .384
3 .745 .341
4 .940 .333
5 .766 .221
6 .452 .442
7 .712 .419
8 .592 .457
9 .652 .521
10 .554 .365
11 .174 .420
12 .440 .355
13 .848 .321
14 .641 .497
15 .929 .297
16 .739 .358
17 .908 .387
18 .484 .522
19 .832 .363
20 .533 .407
21 .848 .321
22 .511 .446
23 .414 .511
24 .886 .384
25 .641 .434
26 .880 .298
27 .815 .263
28 .473 .521
*(p .01) = .222
df = 183










mathemagenic activity does not report any data concerning

the difficulty of the question, hence all questions were

accepted as suitable, even though they were difficult.

As Draper and Smith (1966, p. 29) point out, measures

with excessive error variance and hence low reliability

contribute to insignificance of regression where signifi-

cance could exist. Hence, reliabilities using the Cronbach

alpha (1970) were calculated not only for the post-test

and ability measures, but also for all part scores as well.

These reliabilities are reported in Table 7. Generally,

the reliabilities for the post-test and the ability

measures were acceptable. The reliabilities of the part

scores were accepted even though they were somewhat lower.

This low reliability was attributed to the relatively few

items that were used to determine these part scores.

Methods of Data Collecting


Subjects recorded their answers in a booklet clearly

labeled with vital personal information. One set of booklets

was constructed to contain the necessary treatment materials

and post-test while a second set contained the aptitude

measures. The booklets were then scored and data transfer-

red to a "Data Summary Form" (Included in Appendix F). From

these forms, necessary data were transferred to IBM cards.

Duplicate sets of data cards were made in order to facili-

tate multiple analysis and data security. Key punching,










TABLE 7


RELIABILITY OF MEASURES


Number of
Measure Items Reliability

Criterion Measures

Post-test 28- .78

Relevant Text Questions 7 .48
Incidental Text Questions 7 .51

Relevant Diagram Questions 7 .47
Incidental Diagram Questions 7 .46

Ability Measures

Hidden Patterns (Cf-2) 200 .91

Vocabulary (V-2) 36 .71

Object-Number (Ma-2) 15 .73
Auditory Letter Span (Ms-3) 15 .56
Number Comparison (P-2) 48 .85






48


scoring, and analysis were performed by trained technicians

under the direction of the experimenter.















CHAPTER III


RESULTS


The primary objectives of this study were

1. to assess the relative effects of different

instructional variables upon inspection

behavior, and

2. to explore the effects of individual differences

on learning from different modes of instruc-

tional content.

This chapter will describe the statistical tests of

the hypotheses and the results achieved. The presentation

of results will first treat the instructional treatment

main effects and then the aptitude x treatment interactions.

Most analyses were computed using the University of Florida

Statistical Programs Library.

Independent and Dependent Measures


Inspection behavior is an intervening variable

credited with influencing the acquisition of information

from instructional material, such as prose. However, the

study of inspection behavior is limited to the analysis of

indirect evidence. This evidence can be identified as

either an independent or dependent measure. Independent










measures include those which potentially may predict a

learner's performance relative to a specified instruc-

tional treatment. As presented in Table 8, this study

included independent measures generally described as

aptitudes, time, and inserted question scores. Dependent

measures included evidence describing performance variables

which were influenced in some way by experimental manipu-

lation. In this study, dependent measures (Table 8)

included post-test measures for the acquisition of relevant

and incidental information from textual and diagrammatic

portions of the written passages, and percentages of

diagrammatic or textual information highlighted within

written passages.


Intercorrelations Among Measures

Intercorrelations of both independent and dependent

measures were computed for the total sample. For the most

part, the intercorrelations among the independent measures

(Table 9) display low correlations with one another,

particularly among the factor tests. This is in accordance

with the expectations regarding correlations among factor

tests that purport to measure different things, hence tend

to be independent. Intercorrelations among the dependent

measures (Table 10), revealed some higher correlations

among post-test measures, in particular, between the sets

of diagram question scores. In general, other dependent


















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measures of time and highlighting displayed lower corre-

lations with one another as well as with other dependent

measures.


Distribution of Scores Within Measures


Means, standard deviations, and distributions of

both independent and dependent measures were computed for

the total sample. The means and standard deviations for

the independent measures are presented in Table 11, and

for the dependent measures, Table 12. The distributions

of these scores by treatment group are presented in

Appendix G. An inspection of these means, standard devia-

tions, and distributions indicated that most data did not

appear to deviate from a normal distribution to warrant

further testing. However, scores on post-test measures

displayed some grouping generally credited to the limited

range of the scores and to the high difficulty of the

items.


Instructional Treatment Main Effects


The following hypotheses were of major concern

relative to instructional treatment main effects:

1. Subjects receiving treatments with adjunct

questions inserted into the written passage

will exhibit significantly greater acquisition

of relevant information than the control group.












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2. Subjects receiving treatments with adjunct

questions based upon diagrammatic information

inserted into the written material will exhibit

significantly greater acquisition of incidental

information from diagrams than groups that did

not receive adjunct questions.

3. Subjects receiving treatments with adjunct

questions based upon textual information

inserted into the written passage will exhibit

significantly greater acquisition of incidental

information from text than groups that did not

receive textual adjunct questions.

4. There will be a significant influence on

performance for subjects who receive treatments

in which they highlight information in the

written materials.

Treatments were named according to the type of

questions that were inserted into the written passage

and whether or not highlighting was performed. Hence, a

treatment named 'text questions with highlighting (TO/H)"

describes a treatment with text questions inserted into

the written passages with subjects assigned to that treat-

ment highlighting textual and diagrammatic information

within the passages according to directions provided.

Subjects assigned to any one of six treatments (described

in Table 2), all completed the same post-test. It is

these post-test scores and the percent of text or diagram









information highlighted within the written passage that

the analysis for instructional main effects was performed.

A two (levels of highlighting) by three (types of

inserted questions) analysis of variance test was used to

determine if there were significant instructional treatment

effects on the various post-test scores. In accordance

with Winer (1971), when a significant F ratio occurred

between two of the three types of inserted question treat-

ment conditions, a Scheffe test procedure was completed to

determine the location of the significant differences.


Acquisition of Relevant and Incidental Information

Information in this study was defined to be relevant

when it was the intended answer to the inserted question.

All other information was identified as incidental. Hence,

questions on the post-test that are the same as those

inserted into the written passage become the measures for

the acquisition of relevant information. These questions

are identified as relevant diagram questions and relevant

text questions. The other questions therefore ask for

incidental information and are identified as incidental

diagram questions and incidental text questions. These

four subsets of post-test questions were analyzed to

determine the instructional main effects relative to the

acquisition of incidental and relevant information.

An inspection of the means for all treatment condi-

tions, as reported in Table 13, identified potential























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between group differences relative to performance on the

subsets of post-test questions. The results of the

analysis of variance on each set of scores from the

subsets of questions are reported in Table 14. Signifi-

cant between group differences were found for the inserted

question treatment condition for both relevant diagram

questions (F=6.32, p<.05) and relevant text questions

(F=8.94, p<.01). A comparison between pairs of treatment

condition groups using the Scheffe test procedure was

performed for both the relevant diagram questions (Table

15) and the relevant text questions (Table 16). Subjects

who received text questions inserted in the written

passages performed significantly better on the relevant

text question post-test measure than subjects who received

either diagram questions or no questions inserted in the

written passages. Furthermore, subjects who received

diagram questions inserted in the written passages also

performed significantly better on the relevant diagram

questions post-test measure than the other subjects. No

comparison was made to see if inserted diagram questions

had a greater effect upon the acquisition of relevant

diagrammatic information than inserted text questions

might have upon the acquisition of relevant text information.
No significant differences occurred between treatment

conditions and performances on incidental text questions

or incidental diagram questions.













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A significant difference did occur between high-

lighting treatment condition relative to performance on

relevant diagram questions (F=6.45, p<.05). Generally

those subjects who did not highlight within written

passages performed significantly better on measures of

relevant diagrammatic information than those who performed

highlighting activity.


Overall Post-test Performance

Overall post-test performance was calculated by

counting the number of items correct within all subsets

of post-test questions. The means for these scores by

treatment condition is reported in Table 17. While some

differences between the means occurred, no significant

differences were found between any treatment conditions,

as reported in Table 18.

Highlighting Effects

The highlighting activity of subjects was measured

in terms of the percentage of sentences of text or the

percentage of specifics of a diagram marked with the yellow

felt-tip marker. The number of sentences and specific

parts of diagrams within each written passage is reported

in the coding sheet used in computations of highlighting

measures (See Appendix F). The percent of the number of

sentences highlighted was computed by dividing the number

highlighted by the number of sentences in the written






65




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TABLE 18

ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE
TOTAL POST-TEST PERFORMANCE


Source of Variation df MS F

Inserted Questions 2 10.279 0.44

Highlighting/No Highlighting 1 26.196 1.13

Questions x Highlighting 2 24.026 1.04

Within 179 23.154










passage. (Highlighting all or part of a sentence or

specific part was counted as one.) The same procedure

was followed for computing the percent of diagrammatic

specifics highlighted. These percent, when computed for

each written passage (Table 19 and 20), were considered to

be repeated measures of highlighting activity across the

seven written passages.

An analysis of variance with repeated measures was

performed to assess the changes in highlighting activities

from passages one through seven. One analysis was per-

formed on percentage of diagrams highlighted and another

on percentages of text highlighted. These analyses, as

presented in Table 21, disclosed no significant differences

for either diagram or text highlighting activity between

treatment conditions over all passages. However, a

significant interaction occurred between passages and

treatment conditions for both the highlighting of diagrams

(F=2.99, p<.01) and the highlighting of text (F=2.19, p<.05).

In accordance with Winer (1971), tests for simple main

effects were performed, as reported in Table 22. These

tests disclosed significant treatment effects for only one

passage for text highlighting (passage 4, F=5.59, p<.01)

and two passages for diagram highlighting (passage 4, F=5.80,

p<.01; passage 7, F=6.70, p<.01).

Comparisons were performed on the significant passages

using the Newman-Keuls procedure (Table 23, 24, and 25). In

passage four, treatments receiving inserted diagram ques-

tions highlighted significantly more diagram information
















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(p<.01) than other treatment conditions. Also, treatments

with no inserted questions highlighted significantly more

textual information (p<.01) than other treatments. In

passage seven, treatments with text inserted questions

highlighted significantly less (p<.01) diagram information

than other treatments.

An alternative view of the effect of different in-

structional treatments upon the amount of information

highlighted is furnished by the within group analysis of

the changes from a base rate of highlighting activity

across subsequent written passages, as reported in the

analysis for simple main effects, Table 22. An increase

in highlighting activity was found to be significant for

all treatment conditions (p<.01) for diagram information.

Decreases were found to be significant for highlighting

text information for all treatments (p<.01). The effects

of these treatment conditions upon highlighting activity

are illustrated in Figure 1 and 2.

Aptitude x Treatment Interactions


The following hypothesis was of major concern

relative to aptitude x treatment interactions:

1. There will be a differential relationship

between criterion performances and aptitudes

of subjects, relative to the treatment

received.






















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Correlations of Ability Measures
to Performance

The major purpose of this study was to examine the

effects of individual differences in relation to acquisi-

tion of relevant and incidental information from written

materials containing two modes of instructional content.

In terms of the model previously proposed by Melton (1967)

for investigating individual differences in learning,

ability-performance relationships may be expected to vary

as a function of the nature of the task. It was antici-

pated that the requirements of learning from a textual mode

and a diagrammatic mode of information presentation were

sufficiently different to produce different ability-

performance relationships.

A first step in evaluating these theoretically

expected relationships was to compute for each group

separately, the correlations between all aptitudes and

the post-test performance measures. The correlations were

then reassembled by post-test measure so that the correla-

tions for a specified measure for all treatments would

appear within the same table in order to facilitate

inspection. These individual treatment group correlations

are reported in Tables 26 through 30. Upon inspection it

was apparent that in several instances the correlations

between aptitudes and performance measures varied sub-

stantially across treatment conditions. Aptitude variables

were then selected for further investigation of aptitude x









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treatment interaction when they demonstrated a variation

across treatment conditions of about .40 between two or

more correlations and when the majority of the correlations

were significantly different from zero.


Evaluation for Aptitude x
Treatment Interactions


Aptitude x treatment interactions were evaluated by

comparing regression slopes for different treatments, using

F tests for heterogeniety of regression. Although many F

tests were calculated and few were significant, generally

those F tests that were significant followed closely to

the theoretically expected relationships.

A basic consideration of aptitude x treatment inter-

action is the notion that instructional treatments be

adapted to the individual differences of the learner. How-

ever, instruction can be adapted only when there are

alternative treatments leading to the same terminal objec-

tive, and only if the regression of criterion scores on

aptitude scores of one treatment intersects the regression

for an alternative treatment (Cronbach, 1965). Consequently,

while the results of all computed regression analyses are

reported, only those analyses which disclosed significant

interactions have been presented in graphic form. Sub-

sequent discussion and interpretation of these interactions

were based upon the illustrations.










Acquisition of Relevant and Incidental
Information from Diagrams

Results of regression analysis for aptitude x treat-

ment interaction using the scores on relevant and

incidental diagram questions as the performance measure,

are summarized in Table 31. These results disclosed that

treatment time and relevant diagram questions produced

significant interactions (F=2.30, p<.01). This interaction

is illustrated in Figure 3. For treatment conditions with

inserted diagram questions with highlighting (DQ/H),

inserted text questions without highlighting (TQ/NH), and

no inserted questions with highlighting (NQ/H), treatment

was positively related to scores on relevant diagram

questions and hence subjects assigned to these treatments

exhibited a higher level of acquisition as they spent more

time in the treatment. For treatment conditions with no

inserted questions without highlighting (NO/NH), a negative

relationship was observed and hence subjects assigned to

this treatment generally performed better when they took

less time. Treatment conditions with inserted diagram

questions without highlighting (DQ/NH) and inserted text

questions with highlighting (TQ/H) displayed almost no

relationship between performance on relevant diagram

questions and treatment time. In addition, the specific

interaction between the two no inserted questions treatment

conditions, with highlighting and without highlighting






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