Why sketching may aid learning from science texts: contrasting sketching with written explanations

Scheiter, Katharina and Schleinschok, Katrin and Ainsworth, Shaaron E. (2017) Why sketching may aid learning from science texts: contrasting sketching with written explanations. Topics in Cognitive Science . ISSN 1756-8765

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Abstract

The goal of this study was to explore two accounts for why sketching during learning from text is helpful: (1) sketching acts like other constructive strategies such as self-explanation because it helps learners to identify relevant information and generate inferences; or (2) that in addition to these general effects, sketching has more specific benefits due to the pictorial representation that is constructed. Seventy-three seventh-graders (32 girls, M = 12.82 years) were first taught how to either create sketches or self-explain while studying science texts. During a subsequent learning phase, all students were asked to read an expository text about the greenhouse effect. Finally, they were asked to write down everything they remembered and then answer transfer questions. Strategy quality during learning was assessed as the number of key concepts that had either been sketched or mentioned in the self-explanations. The results showed that at an overall performance level there were only marginal group differences. However, a more in-depth analysis revealed that whereas no group differences emerged for students implementing either strategy poorly, the sketching group clearly outperformed the self-explanation group for students who applied the strategies with higher quality. Furthermore, higher sketching quality was strongly related to better learning outcomes. Thus, the study's results are more in line with the second account: Sketching can have a beneficial effect on learning above and beyond generating written explanations; at least, if well deployed.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Scheiter, K., Schleinschok, K. and Ainsworth, S. (2017), Why Sketching May Aid Learning From Science Texts: Contrasting Sketching With Written Explanations. Top Cogn Sci. doi:10.1111/tops.12261, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/tops.12261. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Keywords: Drawing; Sketching; Self-explanation; Learning strategy; Strategy quality; Visuo-spatial representation
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education
Identification Number: 10.1111/tops.12261
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 08 May 2017 13:51
Last Modified: 08 May 2017 13:59
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/42589

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