Educational Technology Research and Development

, Volume 61, Issue 5, pp 819–840 | Cite as

A computer-based spatial learning strategy approach that improves reading comprehension and writing

  • Hector R. Ponce
  • Richard E. Mayer
  • Mario J. Lopez
Research Article

Abstract

This article explores the effectiveness of a computer-based spatial learning strategy approach for improving reading comprehension and writing. In reading comprehension, students received scaffolded practice in translating passages into graphic organizers. In writing, students received scaffolded practice in planning to write by filling in graphic organizers and in translating them into passages. Based on a cluster-randomized sampling process, 2,468 students distributed in 12 schools and 69 classrooms participated in the study. Schools were randomly assigned to the computer-based instruction (CBI) group or traditional instruction (TI) group. Teachers assigned to the CBI treatment integrated the applications into the language arts curriculum during one school semester. A standardized test was used to measure reading comprehension and writing. The data were analyzed through a statistical multilevel model. The findings showed that students in the CBI group improved their reading and writing skills significantly more than students under TI—yielding an effect size d = 0.30.

Keywords

Computer-based instruction Reading comprehension Writing Learning strategies Multilevel analysis Graphic organizers 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Funding for this study was provided by CONICYT (Comisión Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología) of Chile through FONDEF Projects TE04i1005 and D08i1010. We wish also to thank Nancy Collins for her expert advice on the statistical procedures used in this study.

References

  1. Almarza, F. A., Ponce, H. R., & Lopez, M. J. (2011). Software component development based on the mediator pattern design: The interactive graphic organizer case. IEEE Latin America Transactions, 9(7), 1105–1111. doi: 10.1109/tla.2011.6129710.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alvermann, D. E. (1981). The compensatory effect of graphic organizers on descriptive text. The Journal of Educational Research, 75(1), 44–48. doi: 10.2307/27539864.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alvermann, D. E., & Boothby, P. R. (1983). A preliminary investigation of the differences in children’s retention of “inconsiderate” text. Reading Psychology, 4(3), 237–246. doi: 10.1080/0270271830040304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Alvermann, D. E., & Boothby, P. R. (1986). Children’s transfer of graphic organizer instruction. Reading Psychology, 7(2), 87–100. doi: 10.1080/0270271860070203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Balluerka, N. (1995). The influence of instructions, outlines, and illustrations on the comprehension and recall of scientific texts. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 20(3), 369–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Beyer, B. K. (1997). Improving student thinking: a comprehensive approach. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  7. Bickel, R. (2007). Multilevel analysis for applied research: It’s just regression!. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  8. Chambliss, M. J., & Calfee, R. C. (1998). Textbooks for learning: nurturing children’s minds. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar
  9. Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  10. Condemarín, M., & Medina, A. (2000). Evaluación auténtica de los aprendizajes: un medio para mejorar competencias en lenguaje y comunicación. Santiago de Chile: Editorial Andrés Bello.Google Scholar
  11. Cook, L. K., & Mayer, R. E. (1988). Teaching readers about the structure of scientific text. Journal of Educational Psychology, 80, 448–456. doi: 10.1037/0022-0663.80.4.448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dansereau, D. F., Collins, K. W., Mcdonald, B. A., Holley, C. D., Garland, J., Diekhoff, G., et al. (1979). Development and evaluation of a learning strategy training-program. Journal of Educational Psychology, 71(1), 64–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. De Wever, B., Van Keer, H., Schellens, T., & Valcke, M. (2007). Applying multilevel modelling to content analysis data: Methodological issues in the study of role assignment in asynchronous discussion groups. Learning and Instruction, 17(4), 436–447. doi: 10.1016/j.learninstruc.2007.04.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Englert, C. S., Raphael, T. E., Anderson, L. M., Anthony, H. M., & Stevens, D. D. (1991). Making strategies and self-talk visible: Writing instruction in regular and special education classrooms. American Educational Research Journal, 28(2), 337–372. doi: 10.2307/1162944.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Graham, S., & Hebert, M. (2010). Writing to read: Evidence for how writing can improve reading. A carnegie corporation time to act report. Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  16. Graham, S., & Perin, D. (2007a). A meta-analysis of writing instruction for adolescent students. Journal of Educational Psychology, 99(3), 445–476. doi: 10.1037/0022-0663.99.3.445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Graham, S., & Perin, D. (2007b). Writing next: effective strategies to improve writing of adolescents in middle and high schools: A report to carnegie corporation of New York. Washington, DC: Alliance for excellent education.Google Scholar
  18. Hall, V. C., Bailey, J., & Tillman, C. (1997). Can student-generated illustrations be worth ten thousand words? Journal of Educational Psychology, 89(4), 677–681. doi: 10.1037/0022-0663.89.4.677.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hall, R. H., & Sidio-hall, M. A. (1994). The effect of color enhancement on knowledge map processing. The Journal of Experimental Education, 62(3), 209–217. doi: 10.1080/00220973.1994.9943841.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hattie, J. (2009). Visible learning: a synthesis of over 800 meta analyses relating to achievement. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. Hayes, R. J., & Bennett, S. (1999). Simple sample size calculation for cluster-randomized trials. International Journal of Epidemiology, 28(2), 319–326. doi: 10.1093/ije/28.2.319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hayes, J., & Flower, L. (1980). Identifying the organization of writing processes. In L. Gregg & E. Steinberg (Eds.), Cognitive processes in writing (pp. 3–30). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  23. Heck, R. H., Thomas, S. L., & Tabata, L. N. (2010). Multilevel and longitudinal modeling with IBM SPSS. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Holley, C. D., Dansereau, D. F., McDonald, B. A., Garland, J. C., & Collins, K. W. (1979). Evaluation of a hierarchical mapping technique as an aid to prose processing. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 4(3), 227–237. doi: 10.1016/0361-476X(79)90043-2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Katayama, A. D., & Robinson, D. H. (2000). Getting students “partially” involved in note-taking using graphic organizers. Journal of Experimental Education, 68(2), 119–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kiewra, K. A., DuBois, N. F., Christian, D., & McShane, A. (1988). Providing study notes: Comparison of three types of notes for review. Journal of Educational Psychology, 80(4), 595–597. doi: 10.1037/0022-0663.80.4.595.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kiewra, K. A., DuBois, N. F., Christian, D., McShane, A., Meyerhoffer, M., & Roskelley, D. (1991). Note-taking functions and techniques. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83(2), 240–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kiewra, K. A., Kauffman, D. F., Robinson, D. H., Dubois, N. F., & Staley, R. K. (1999). Supplementing floundering text with adjunct displays. Instructional Science, 27(5), 373–401. doi: 10.1023/a:1003270723360.Google Scholar
  29. Laitkorpi, M., & Jaaksi, A. (1999). Extending the object-oriented software process with component-oriented design. Journal of Object-Oriented Programming, 12(1), 41–50.Google Scholar
  30. Loman, N. L., & Mayer, R. E. (1983). Signaling techniques that increase the understandability of expository prose. Journal of Educational Psychology, 75(3), 402–412. doi: 10.1037/0022-0663.75.3.402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Ma, X., Ma, L., & Bradley, K. D. (2008). Using multilevel modeling to investigate school effects. In A. A. O’Connell & D. B. McCoach (Eds.), Multilevel modeling of education data (pp. 59–110). Charlotte, NC: IAP-Information Age Publishing.Google Scholar
  32. Mayer, R. E. (2009). Multimedia learning (2nd ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mayer, R. E., & Wittrock, M. C. (2006). Problem solving. In P. A. Alexander & P. H. Winne (Eds.), Handbook of educational psychology (pp. 287–303). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  34. McCagg, E. C., & Dansereau, D. F. (1991). A convergent paradigm for examining knowledge mapping as a learning strategy. The Journal of Educational Research, 84(6), 317–324. doi: 10.1080/00220671.1991.9941812.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. McKnight, K. S. (2010). The teachers’s big book of graphic organizers: 100 reproducible organizers that help kids with reading, writing, and the content areas. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  36. Medina, A., Gajardo, A. M., & Fundación-Educacional-Arauco. (2009). Prueba de comprensión lectora y producción de textos (CL-PT): Kinder a 4to año básico. Santiago de Chile: Ediciones Universidad Católica de Chile.Google Scholar
  37. Medina, A., Gajardo, A. M., & Fundación-Educacional-Arauco. (2010). Pruebas de comprensión lectora y producción de textos (CL-PT) 5to a 8vo año básico: Marco conceptual y manual de aplicación y corrección. Santiago de Chile: Ediciones Universidad Católica de Chile.Google Scholar
  38. Meyer, B. J. F., & Poon, L. W. (2001). Effects of structure strategy training and signaling on recall of text. Journal of Educational Psychology, 93(1), 141–159. doi: 10.1037/0022-0663.93.1.141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. MINEDUC. (2008a). Mapas de progreso del aprendizaje: sector lenguage y comunicación, mapas de progreso de producción de textos. Santiago: Ministerio de Educación de Chile.Google Scholar
  40. MINEDUC. (2008b). Mapas de progreso: Sector lenguage y comunicación, mapas de progreso de la lectura. Santiago: Ministerio de Educación de Chile.Google Scholar
  41. MINEDUC. (2009). Objetivos fundamentales y contenidos mínimos obligatorios de la educación básica y media. Santiago: Ministerio de Educación de Chile.Google Scholar
  42. Moran, J., Ferdig, R. E., Pearson, P. D., Wardrop, J., & Blomeyer, R. L. (2008). Technology and reading performance in the middle-school grades: A meta-analysis with recommendations for policy and practice. Journal of Literacy Research, 40, 6–58. doi: 10.1080/10862960802070483.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Murphy, R. F., Penuel, W. R., Means, B., Korbak, C., Whaley, A., & Allen, J. E. (2002). E-DESK: A review of recent evidence on the effectiveness of discrete educational software. USA: Planning and Evaluation Service, U. S. Department of Education.Google Scholar
  44. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. (2000). Report of the National Reading Panel. Teaching children to read: an evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction: Reports of the subgroups (NIH Publication No. 00-4754). Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  45. Novak, J. D., & Gowin, D. B. (1984). Learning how to learn. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. O’Donnell, A., Dansereau, D., & Hall, R. (2002). Knowledge maps as scaffolds for cognitive processing. Educational Psychology Review, 14(1), 71–86. doi: 10.1023/a:1013132527007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Pollock, E., Chandler, P., & Sweller, J. (2002). Assimilating complex information. Learning and Instruction, 12(1), 61–86. doi: 10.1016/s0959-4752(01)00016-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Ponce, H. R., Lopez, M. J., Labra, J. E., & Toro, O. A. (2012a). Integración curricular de organizadores gráficos interactivos en la formación de profesores. Revista de Educacion, 357, 397–422. doi: 10.4438/1988-592x-Re-2010-357-066.Google Scholar
  49. Ponce, H. R., Lopez, M. J., & Mayer, R. E. (2012b). Instructional effectiveness of a computer-supported program for teaching reading comprehension strategies. Computers & Education, 59(4), 1170–1183. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2012.05.013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Robinson, D. H. (1998). Graphic organizers as aids to text learning. Reading Research and Instruction, 37(2), 85–105. doi: 10.1080/19388079809558257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Robinson, D. H., Corliss, S. B., Bush, A. M., Bera, S. J., & Tomberlin, T. (2003). Optimal presentation of graphic organizers and text: A case for large bites? Educational Technology Research and Development, 51(4), 25–41. doi: 10.1007/bf02504542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Robinson, D. H., Katayama, A. D., Beth, A., Odom, S., Hsieh, Y.-P., & Vanderveen, A. (2006). Increasing text comprehension and graphic note taking using a partial graphic organizer. The Journal of Educational Research, 100(2), 103–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Spybrook, J. (2008). Power, sample size, and design. In A. A. O’Connell & D. B. McCoach (Eds.), Multilevel modeling of educational data (pp. 273–311). Charlotte, NC: IAP.Google Scholar
  54. Strangman, N., Hall, T., & Meyer, A. (2004). Graphic organizers and implications for universal design for learning: curriculum enhancement report. Washington, DC: The National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum.Google Scholar
  55. Stull, A. T., & Mayer, R. E. (2007). Learning by doing versus learning by viewing: Three experimental comparisons of learner-generated versus author-provided graphic organizers. Journal of Educational Psychology, 99(4), 808–820. doi: 10.1037/0022-0663.80.4.448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Sweller, J., Ayres, P. L., & Kalyuga, S. (2011). Cognitive load theory. New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Williams, J. P., Hall, K. M., Lauer, K. D., Stafford, K. B., DeSisto, L. A., & deCani, J. S. (2005). Expository text comprehension in the primary grade classroom. Journal of Educational Psychology, 97(4), 538–550. doi: 10.1111/1540-5826.00072.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Wittrock, M. C. (1989). Generative processes of comprehension. Educational Psychologist, 24(4), 345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hector R. Ponce
    • 1
  • Richard E. Mayer
    • 2
  • Mario J. Lopez
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Management and EconomicsUniversity of Santiago of ChileSantiagoChile
  2. 2.Department of Psychological and Brain SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA
  3. 3.Department of Industrial EngineeringUniversity of Santiago of ChileSantiagoChile

Personalised recommendations