The Effect on Learning of Inferences in Instructional Text
Annual technical rept. 1 Sep 1989-31 Aug 1990,
GEORGIA UNIV RESEARCH FOUNDATION INC ATHENS
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A computational model was used to improve the learnability of an Air Force document, doubling recall and greatly improving recruits mental representation of the content. Kintschs computer model of reading was applied to a 1000 word Air Force text on the Air Forces role in Vietnam War. Principles of the model were used to identify 40 text locations where recruits would have to make inferences if they were to have a coherent mental representation of the text. Each location was then repaired, and the repaired text was then tested for learnability against the original text in two experiments. In experiment 1, free recall was doubled for the repaired text. In the second experiment, 120 recruits 66-part mental representations for 12 important text concepts were measured, and compared with the mental representations of the texts author, and of 7 independent subject matter experts. The author and the experts mental representations correlated about .80. For recruits who read the repaired text, their mental representations correlated with the author and experts about .55 N 0.05. But recruits who read the original text correlated with the author and experts only about .10. These results suggest that the computational model can be used to improve the learnability of Air Force tests. Individual differences tests of inferencing ability were developed.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Computer Programming and Software