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The influence of perceptual cues on how learners study a diagram

Seier, C. (2011) The influence of perceptual cues on how learners study a diagram.

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Abstract:Diagrams are essential in education. Therefore it is useful to know how students perceive diagrams and learn from them. An important aspect in learning from diagrams is design, including perceptual cues, that may improve realizing relationships within the topic (Suthers, 2003), which leads to better recall and comprehension (Zinar, 1990). The objective of the current experiment was to investigate whether perceptual cues influence students study behavior and impact of their study behavior on recall. Participants studied one of two versions of a node-link diagram, only differing in the added perceptual cues: arrows pointing from left to right in one, and from top to bottom in the other condition. Participants received a recall-test and were interviewed on how they studied the diagram. The recall-test contained two sorts of questions: one half of the questions required orientation on the characteristics in the top header, thus top-down, the other half required orientation on the personality disorders which were in the left header, thus left-right. The general results revealed that with regard to study behavior students don’t seem to be influenced by arrows, but have a tendency to study from left to right. Recall for information that was organized in the left-right order is better. Still, it remained unclear what this preference for left-right order is due to. It may be the organization of the material or someother variable, for example normal reading order. The self-reports showed that many participants chose their study behavior according to the content and not according to the perceptual cues. Key terms: diagrams, perceptual cues, eye-tracking
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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