Clark Chapter 10. Applying the Segmenting and Pre-training Principles. Segmenting Principle: Break a Continuous Lesson into Bite-Size Segments Main Idea: Segmenting Principle is described as breaking a complex lesson into smaller parts and presenting the lessons one at a time. Reasoning:
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Clark Chapter 10 Applying the Segmenting and Pre-training Principles
Segmenting Principle: Break a Continuous Lesson into Bite-Size Segments Main Idea: Segmenting Principle is described as breaking a complex lesson into smaller parts and presenting the lessons one at a time. Reasoning: When the material is complex, one cannot make it simpler by leaving out some of the elements or steps in the explanation because that would destroy the accuracy of the lesson. However, one can help the learner manage the complexity by breaking the lesson into manageable segments or parts that convey just one or two steps in the process or procedure. In other words, just one or two major relations among the elements at a time.
Psychological Reasons for the Segmenting Principle Have you ever sat through a lecture on new material and wondered what the professor was talking about as he/she continued to ramble on and on? While learning Quantitative Marine Science during a nine hour lecture, that is exactly how I felt. This is why the segmenting principle is important. If a learner is unfamiliar with the material, he/she may need time to consolidate what was just presented. When new material is presented, with many inter-related concepts, the result is likely to overwhelm the learner, while their cognitive system simultaneously becomes overloaded due to too much required essential processing. In short, many times the learner does not have the sufficient cognitive capacity to engage in the essential processing required to understand the material.
Psychological Reasons for the Segmenting Principle Cont. Breaking the material up within a ten second or less video allows the student to receive the required information in small doses or segments. Creating a small continue button on the video will allow the student to move ahead once they feel comfortable with the small piece of information just learned. By digesting the material at their own pace, the learner is allowed to manage essential processing. If the designer feels it is necessary, he/she may even add additional support by including a short sentence or two. By participating in segmenting, the learner is allowed to engage essential processing without overloading their cognitive system.
Evidence for Breaking a Continuous Lesson into Bite-Size Segments In 2001 a study was conducted by Mayer and Chandler. The study showed learners who were lectured to by a segmented presentation performed better on their transfer tests compared to learners who were lectured to by a continuous presentation, even though the material taught was identical. In another study, prospective teachers who viewed a continuous 20 minute video, which demonstrated various teaching techniques, performed worse on a transfer test than the prospective teachers who viewed the same video broken down into seven separate segments focusing on each technique (Moreno, 2007). So….you may think to yourself, should I just have a continuous lesson with a pause button? According to this study, that would not work. Students do not learn as much as when there was an actual continue button. Students need an actual stopping point instead of relying on their own judgment to determine an appropriate stopping point.
Pre-training Principle: Ensure that Learners Know the Names and Characteristics of Key Concepts The idea behind Pre-training is to build upon the students prior knowledge and to build new knowledge by providing background information. By doing so, this will alleviate some stress and or overwhelming sensations the student may feel. Psychological Reasons for the Pre-training Principle It is also important to use a pre-training lesson when digesting complex topics. When discussing something as important or complex as physical oceanography, one may want to create a pre-training lesson on the vocabulary. Once the students understand the vocabulary, they are able to focus on how that specific current works and the cause and effect of that specific current. If your material is complex, you may want to pre-train by identifying key concepts that could be present prior to teaching the main lesson. For example, you could begin with a short section on the key concepts, even including a practice exercise. Tabs can be used to segment content into small chunks and the names of the parts labeled on the tabs.
Evidence for Providing Pre-Training in Key Concepts In an e-learning environment, students learned to solve electronics troubleshooting problems better if they received factual information before training, rather than within the context of the training (Kester, Kirshner, & van Merrienboer, 2006). In another set of studies (Pollock, Chadler, & Sweller, 2002), electrical engineering trainees took a course that included a multimedia lesson on conducting a safety test for electrical appliances. The no-pre-training group was shown how all the electrical components worked together within an electrical system. The pre-training group first was shown how each component worked individually. Across two separate experiments, the pre-training group outperformed the no-pre-training group on transfer tests, yielding effect sizes greater than 1. Overall, there is encouraging preliminary evidence for the pre-training principle, but an important possible boundary condition is that the effect may be strongest for low-knowledge learners (Pollock, Chandler, & Sweller, 2002).
What We Don’t Know About Segmenting and Pre-Training Research on segmenting and pre-training is not as well developed as other principles. More research that examines whether the effects replicate different material, different learning, and different learning contexts needs to be done. Determining how big a segment should be is also not known yet, as well as how much information should be in a so-called bite-sized chunk. How long should a segment last? 10, 30, 60 seconds? How can you tell where to place a break in a continuous lesson and still create meaningful segments? How much learner control is necessary; or when is a student given too much control? How do you identify what key concepts should be included in pre-training? How much information should be included in pre-training? Are there situations where learning would be beneficial without pre-training? Answering these questions depends, in part, on the characteristics of the learner, especially the learner’s prior knowledge.
References Clark, R., & Mayer, R. E. (2011). E-learning and the science of instruction: Proven guidelines for consumers and designers of multimedia learning. (3rd ed.). Pfeiffer. All other studies cited were cited from this chapter.