Instructional Science

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 217–235 | Cite as

Elaboration theory and cognitive psychology

  • M. David Merrill
  • Jeffrey C. Kelety
  • Brent Wilson
Article

Abstract

Increasingly, instructional literature is pointing out the need for theories of instruction which are consistent with emerging cognitive psychology. Theory construction of this sort entails taking into account developing notions of the learner as a processor of information rather than a respondent to stimuli. The purpose of this article is to describe a recent instructional effort, referred to as the Elaboration Theory of Instruction (ETI), and chart its correspondence with several major principles drawn from contemporary cognitive psychology. The ETI incorporates models for both the sequencing and structuring of subject matter. The article will show how these components relate to current models of knowledge representation, schema theory, memory processes such as storage and retrieval, and earlier cognitive based instructional frameworks.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Anderson, J. A. (1977). “Neural models with cognitive implications,” in D. La, Borge and S. Samuels, eds., Basic Processes in Reading: Perception and Comprehension. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, J. R. and Bower, G. H. (1973). Human Associative Memory. Washington, D. C.: V. H. Winston & Sons.Google Scholar
  3. Anderson, R. C., Reynolds, R. E., Schallert, D. L. and Goetz, E. T. (1977). “Frameworks for comprehending discourse,” American Education Research Journal 14: 367–381.Google Scholar
  4. Atkinson, R. C. (1972). “Ingredients for a theory of instruction.” Technical Report No. 187. Stanford: Institute for Mathematical Studies in the Social Sciences, Stanford University.Google Scholar
  5. Atkinson, R. C. and Shriffin, R. M. (1968). “Human memory: A proposed system and its control processes,” in K. W. Spence and J. T. Spence, eds., The Psychology of Learning and Motivation: Advances in Research and Theory, Vol. II, pp. 89–105, New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  6. Ausubel, D. P. (1963). The Psychology of Meaningful Verbal Learning. New York: Grune and Stratton.Google Scholar
  7. Ausubel, D. P. (1965). “A cognitive structure view of word meaning,” in R. Anderson and D. Ausubel, eds., Readings in the Psychology of Cognition. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar
  8. Ausubel, D. P. (1968). Educational Psychology: A Cognitive View. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar
  9. Brown, J. S. and Burton, R. R. (1975). “Multiple representations of knowledge for tutorial reasoning,” in D. G. Bobrow and A. Collins, eds., Representations and Understanding: Studies in Cognitive Science. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  10. Bruner, J. S. (1960). The Process of Education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Chomsky, N. (1965). Aspects of Theory Syntax. Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press.Google Scholar
  12. Collins, A. M. and Loftus, E. F. (1975). “A spreading—activation theory of semantic processing,” Psychological Review 82: 407–428.Google Scholar
  13. Collins, A. M. and Quillian, M. R. (1969). “Retrieval time from semantic memory,” Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior 8: 240–247.Google Scholar
  14. Collins, A. M. and Quillian, M. R. (1970). “Facilitating retrieval from semantic memory: the effect of repeating part of an interference,” in A. F. Sanders (ed.), Attention and Performance III. Amsterdam: North-Holland.Google Scholar
  15. Craik, F. I. M. and Lockhart, R. S. (1972). “Levels of processing: A framework for memory research,” Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior 11: 671–684.Google Scholar
  16. Craik, F. I. M. and Tulving, E. (1975). “Depth processing and retention of words in episodic memory,” Journal of Experimental Psychology 104: 268–294.Google Scholar
  17. Danserau, D. (1978). “The development of a learning strategies curriculum,” in H. F. O'Neil, ed., Learning Strategies. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  18. Estes, W. K. (1972). “An associative basis for coding and organization in memory,” in A. Melton and E. Martin, eds., Coding Processes in Human Memory. Washington, DC: V. H. Winston and Sons.Google Scholar
  19. Gagné, R. M. (1970). The Conditions of Learning. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar
  20. Glaser, R. (1973). “Educational psychology and education,” American Psychologist: 28: 557–566.Google Scholar
  21. Katz, J. J. and Fodor, J. A. (1963). “The structure of semantic theory,” Language 39: 170–210.Google Scholar
  22. Kintsch, W. (1970). “Models for free recall and recognition,” in D. Norman, ed., Models of Human Memory. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  23. Kintsch, W. (1972). “Notes on the structure of semantic memory” in E. Tulving and W. Donaldson (eds.), Organization of Memory. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  24. Kintsch, W. (1974). The Representation of Meaning in Memory. New York: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  25. Klahr, D. (1976). Conference Proceedings from the Tenth Cognition Symposium: Cognition and Instruction. Pittsburgh: Carnegie-Mellon University.Google Scholar
  26. Lesgold, A. M., Pellegrino, J. W. and Glaser, R. (1977). Cognitive Psychology and Instruction. New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  27. Lesh, R. A. (1976). “An interpretation of advance organizers,” Journal for Research in Mathematics Education 7: 69–74.Google Scholar
  28. Lindsay, P. H. and Norman, D. A. (1972). Human Information Processing. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  29. Mayer, R. E. (1977). “The sequencing of instruction and the concept of assimilation-toschema,” Instructional Science 6: 369–388.Google Scholar
  30. Merrill, M. D. (1977). “Control analysis via concept elaboration theory,” Journal of Instructional Development 1: 10–13.Google Scholar
  31. Norman, D. A. (1969). Memory and Attention: An Introduction to Human Information Processing. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  32. Norman, D. A. (1973). “Cognitive Organizational Learning,” Center for Human Information Processing, Report No. 37, University of California, San Diego.Google Scholar
  33. Norman, D. A. (1976). “Studies of learning and self-contained educational systems, 1973–1976.” Technical Report No. 7601. San Diego: University of California, Center for Human Information Processing, March.Google Scholar
  34. Norman, D. A. (1979). “Studies of learning and self-contained educational systems, 1976–1979.” Technical Report No. 7902. San Diego: University of California, Center for Human Information Processing, June.Google Scholar
  35. Norman, D. A. and Bobrow, D. G. (1979). “Descriptions: An intermediate stage in memory retrieval,” Cognitive Psychology 11: 107–123.Google Scholar
  36. Norman, D. A. and Rumelhart, D. E. (1975). Explorations in Cognition. San Francisco: Freeman.Google Scholar
  37. Norman, D. A., Gentner, D. R. and Stevens, A. C. (1976). “Comments on learning schemata and memory representation,” in D. Klahr, ed., Conference Proceedings from the Tenth Cognition Symposium: Cognition and Instruction. Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie-Mellon University.Google Scholar
  38. Pellegrino, J. W. and Glaser, R. (1980). “Components of inductive reasoning,” in R. Snow, W. Montague and P. Federico, eds., Aptitude, Learning and Instruction: Cognitive Processes in Analyses of Problem Solving. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  39. Quillian, M. R. (1968). “Semantic memory,” in M. Minsky, ed., Semantic Information Processing. Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press.Google Scholar
  40. Reigeluth, C. M. (1979). “In search of a better way to organize instruction: The elaboration theory,” Journal of Instructional Development 2: 8–15.Google Scholar
  41. Reigeluth, C. M., Merrill, M. D. and Bunderson, V. C. (1978). “The structure of subject matter content and its instructional design implications,” Instructional Science 7: 107–126.Google Scholar
  42. Reigeluth, C. M., Merrill, M. D., Wilson, B. G. and Spiller, R. T. (1980). “The elaboration theory of instruction: A model for sequencing and synthesizing instruction,” Instructional Science 9: 195–219.Google Scholar
  43. Rigney, J. W. (1978). “Learning strategies: A theoretical perspective,” in H. O'Neil, ed., Learning Strategies. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  44. Rohwer, W. D. and Dempster, F. N. (1977). “Memory development and educational processes,” in R. V. Kail and J. W. Hagen (eds.), Perspectives on the Development of Memory and Cognition. Hillsdale, N. J. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  45. Rumelhart, D. E. and Ortony, A. (1977). “The representation of knowledge in memory,” in R. Anderson, R. Spiro and W. Montague, eds., Schooling and the Acquisition of Knowledge. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  46. Schulman, A. I. (1974). “Memory for words recently classified,” Memory and Cognition 2: 47–52.Google Scholar
  47. Shriffin, R. M. (1970). “Memory search,” in D. A. Norman, ed., Models of Human Memory. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  48. Snow, R. E. (1980). “Aptitude processes,” in R. Snow, W. Montague and P. Federico, eds., Aptitude, Learning and Instruction: Cognitive Processes Analyses of Aptitude, Vol. I. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence and Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  49. Suppes, P. (1977). “Some global models of learning and performance.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the APA, San Francisco, August.Google Scholar
  50. Tulving, E. (1972). “Episodic and semantic memory,” in E. Tulving and W. Donaldson, eds., Organization of Memory. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  51. Tulving, E. and Thompson, D. (1973). “Encoding specificity and retrieval processes in episodic memory,” Psychological Review 80: 352–373.Google Scholar
  52. White, R. T. (1973). “Research into learning hierarchies,” Review of Educational Research 43: 361–385.Google Scholar
  53. Wickelgren, W. A. (1970). “Multitrace strength theory,” in D. A. Norman, ed., Models of Human Memory. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. David Merrill
    • 1
  • Jeffrey C. Kelety
    • 1
  • Brent Wilson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Instructional TechnologyUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesU.S.A.
  2. 2.Brigham Young UniversityProvoU.S.A.

Personalised recommendations