The effect of visual variability on the learning of academic concepts

Ashley Bourgoyne, Mary Alt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify effects of variability of visual input on development of conceptual representations of academic concepts for college-age students with normal language (NL) and those with languagelearning disabilities (LLD). Method: Students with NL (n = 11) and LLD (n = 11) participated in a computer-based training for introductory biology course concepts. Participants were trained on half the concepts under a low-variability condition and half under a high-variability condition. Participants completed a posttest in which they were asked to identify and rate the accuracy of novel and trained visual representations of the concepts. We performed separate repeated measures analyses of variance to examine the accuracy of identification and ratings. Results: Participants were equally accurate on trained and novel items in the high-variability condition but were less accurate on novel items only in the low-variability condition. The LLD group showed the same pattern as the NL group; they were just less accurate. Conclusions: Results indicated that high-variability visual input may facilitate the acquisition of academic concepts in college students with NL and LLD. Highvariability visual input may be especially beneficial for generalization to novel representations of concepts. Implicit learning methods may be harnessed by college courses to provide students with basic conceptual knowledge when they are entering courses or beginning new units.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1568-1576
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume60
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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