Elaboration during problem-based group discussion: Effects on recall for high and low ability students
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- Van Blankenstein, F.M., Dolmans, D.H.J.M., Van der Vleuten, C.P.M. et al. Adv in Health Sci Educ (2013) 18: 659. doi:10.1007/s10459-012-9406-8
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Although elaboration has been investigated frequently, there is little evidence for the beneficial effect of elaboration in problem-based learning. A controlled experiment tested the effect of elaboration during problem-based discussion on recall. Sixty-seven students observed a video-recorded, problem-based discussion. In one experimental condition, a tutor in the video encouraged participants to elaborate by asking elaborative questions. In a second condition, the tutor asked superficial questions. After the discussion, all participants studied a text with relevant new information. Elaborative questions had no significant effect on recall of idea units from the text, p = .39, η2 = .01. High-ability students outperformed low-ability students, p = .04, η2 = .07, but this effect did not interact with the experimental treatment, p = .22, η2 = .02. Suggestions for further research are presented.