Making Better Use of Multiple Representations: How Fostering Metacognition Can Help

  • Alexander Renkl
  • Kirsten Berthold
  • Cornelia S. Grosse
  • Rolf Schwonke
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE, volume 28)


Modern learning technology (e.g., hypermedia systems) usually provides information in various forms such as text, “realistic” pictures, formal graphs, or algebraic equations in order to foster learning. However, it is well known that learners usually make sub-optimal use of such multiple external representations. In this chapter, we present a series of experiments with older students (senior high-school and up) that analyzed the effects of two metacognitive intervention procedures: self-explanation prompts and “instruction for use” (information on how to use multiple representations). Basically, both interventions foster conceptual understanding and procedural skills. However, there are important boundary conditions. For example, if learners have little prior knowledge they cannot react productively to self-explanation prompts.


Conceptual Understanding Conceptual Knowledge Procedural Knowledge Metacognitive Knowledge Instructional Support 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander Renkl
    • 1
  • Kirsten Berthold
    • 1
  • Cornelia S. Grosse
    • 1
  • Rolf Schwonke
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany

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