How to Use Multiple Graphical Representations to Support Conceptual Learning? Research-Based Principles in the Fractions Tutor

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7926)


Multiple graphical representations are ubiquitous in educational materials because they serve complementary roles in emphasizing conceptual aspects of the domain. Yet, to benefit robust learning, students have to understand each representation and make connections between them. We describe research-based principles for the use of multiple graphical representations within intelligent tutoring systems (ITSs). These principles are the outcome of a series of iterative classroom experiments with the Fractions Tutor with over 3,000 students. The implementation of these principles into the Fractions Tutor results in robust conceptual learning. To our knowledge, the Fractions Tutor is the first ITS to use multiple graphical representations by implementing research-based principles to support conceptual learning. The instructional design principles we established apply to ITSs across domains.


Multiple graphical representations ITSs classroom evaluation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Human-Computer Interaction InstituteCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Institute of EducationUniversität BochumGermany

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