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The design of a study aid for synthesising instruction

Patricia Youngblood
University of New England - Northern Rivers

Recent advances in computer technology have provided educators with a range of innovative delivery mechanisms including computer based systems, interactive video, CD-ROM and others. The newer systems make it possible to incorporate text, graphics, still pictures, auditory information, and real motion sequences into a single module of instruction. However, along with the convergence of these technologies of instruction to be delivered via these systems. Charles M Reigeluth's Elaboration Theory is one example of an instructional design theory which proposes a set of guidelines for sequencing, synthesising and summarising instruction.

In this study, the researcher used Elaboration Theory guidelines to develop a study aid called the synthesiser for a unit of study in genetics. Three groups of students were given either the synthesiser, an alternative study strategy, or a placebo to determine the effects of the synthesiser on student learning. The results indicate that are an effective strategy for helping students achieve both knowledge and application level learning. The findings from this study are consistent with previous research on and suggest that studying a synthesiser is a useful strategy for helping students learn the relationships between and among previously learned ideas.

Please cite as: Youngblood, P. (1990). The design of a study aid for synthesising instruction (abstract). In J. G. Hedberg, J. Steele and M. Mooney (Eds), Converging Technologies: Selected papers from EdTech'90, 36. Canberra: AJET Publications.

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