Instructional analogies and the learning of concepts

  • Timothy J. Newby
  • Peggy A. Ertmer
  • Donald A. Stepich


This paper describes two studies which were designed to examine the effect of instructional analogy training on the ability to identify the application of 10 advanced physiological concepts. In the first study, 161 college students received instruction either with or without analogies. Levels of student performances were compared across three conditions: (a) concept lessons only (including definitions and examples for each concept), (b) similar concept lessons but with an analogy included for each concept, and (c) analogy concept lessons with additional prompts guiding analogy use. In the second study, immediate and delayed performance of 94 college studetns was compared between groups receiving concept lessons with and without analogies. Results showed significantly higher scores, both immediately and after the delayed period, for those students who had received the analogies. Results are discussed in terms of the prescriptive use of analogies within instructional materials and future research possibilities.


College Student Educational Technology Student Performance Similar Concept Instructional Material 
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Copyright information

© the Association for Educational Communications and Technology 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy J. Newby
    • 1
  • Peggy A. Ertmer
    • 1
  • Donald A. Stepich
    • 2
  1. 1.Purdue UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Northeastern Illinois UniversityUSA

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