Elaboration Effects on Learning
Elaboration is a cognitive learning strategythat involves any enhancement of information that clarifies or specifies the relationship between information to-be-learned and related information, i.e., a learner’s prior knowledge and experience or contiguously presented information. The addition can be an inference, an example, an analogy, a detail, an image, an overall summary, or any other mental construction. Essentially, elaboration is encoding the original content in a different but related way. There are primarily two kinds of elaboration: visual and verbal. For example, to learn the pair “cow-ball” a person could form a visual image of a cow kicking a ball. Alternatively, someone could create a sentence such as “The cow ran after the ball.” Elaborations can also differ in terms of source, i.e., in many instructional situations, learners are asked to generate the elaborations themselves. In contrast, relevant...
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