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Using a Diagnosis-Based Approach to Individualize Instructional Explanations in Computer-Mediated Communication

Wittwer, Jorg ; Nuckles, Matthias ; Renkl, Alexander

Educational Psychology Review, March 2010, Vol.22(1), p.9 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Using a Diagnosis-Based Approach to Individualize Instructional Explanations in Computer-Mediated Communication
  • Author/Creator: Wittwer, Jorg ; Nuckles, Matthias ; Renkl, Alexander
  • Language: English
  • Subjects: Computer Mediated Communication ; Computers ; Educational Psychology ; Teaching Methods ; Experiments ; Information Processing ; Classroom Communication ; Education ; Psychology
  • Is Part Of: Educational Psychology Review, March 2010, Vol.22(1), p.9
  • Description: To maximize the effectiveness of instructional explanations, they should be tailored to an individual learner. However, instructors are often not able to collect diagnostically relevant information about a learner to individualize their explanations. This is particularly true in computer-mediated settings where it is more difficult to thoroughly assess a learner's understanding. We present an approach that provides instructors in asynchronous and text-based computer-mediated communication settings with information about a learner's understanding that has sufficient diagnostic power to enable them to generate learner-tailored explanations. A series of experiments testing this approach suggest several conclusions. First, instructors need information about a learner to individualize explanations. Second, instructors are able to design explanations that are specifically adapted to a learner's individual understanding. Third, learner-tailored explanations facilitate the processing of new information and make instructional communication more efficient. Fourth, learner-tailored explanations enhance a deep understanding of the information processed and make instructional communication more effective.
  • Identifier: ISSN: 1040-726X ; E-ISSN: 1573-336X ; DOI: 10.1007/s10648-010-9118-7