The study explored how students interacted with two alternative forms of representation, tabular and graphical representations along with text, as support for low performing students in learning six earth science topics. Ninety-seven ninth-grade students took a paper-and-pencil test that assessed their content knowledge and graph interpreting ability. Eleven students with low levels of content knowledge and graph interpreting ability were further studied as target students. We observed and interviewed the target students while they were learning three versions of learning materials: text-only, text-with-tables, and text-with-graphs. The students also took a questionnaire that probed their preference for visual representations, and a posttest that assessed their understanding of the topics in the learning materials. Different information- processing patterns were found while the students learned with different versions of learning materials. Our study presented empirical evidence for the strengths and limitations of using multiple representations in science instruction, and provided insights into the development of instructional materials to make science concepts accessible to low-performing students.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Journal of Science Education|
|Publication status||Published - 2009 Jan 1|
- Earth science
- Multiple representation
- Secondary education
ASJC Scopus subject areas