schema theory, prior knowledge, learning objects, retention
Establishing relationships between a learner's prior knowledge and any new concepts he or she will be expected to learn is an important instructional activity. Learning objects are often devoid of such activities in an attempt to maintain their conciseness and reusability in a variety of instructional contexts. The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of using questioning as a prior knowledge activation strategy in learning objects. Previous research on the use prior knowledge activation strategies supports their effectiveness in helping to improve learner retention. Approaches such as questioning, advance organizers, and group discussions are examples of techniques used in previous studies. Participants enrolled in a Navy engineering curriculum were randomly assigned to two groups (experimental and comparison). The experimental group was exposed to a prior knowledge activation component at the start of session I, while the comparison group received no treatment. Participants in both groups were tested at three different times during the course of the study- the pretest, at the start of session 1, posttest I, at the conclusion of session1, and posttest II, during session 2. The findings indicate that the prior knowledge activation strategy did not result in statistically significant differences between the levels of retention gained by the experimental and comparison groups. Due to administrative constraints experienced during the course of the study, statistical power was not achieved due to an insufficiently sized sample. Potential limitations and implications for future research directions are described.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Education
Educational Research, Technology, and Leadership
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Henderson, Kelsey, "The Effects Of Prior Knowledge Activation On Learner Retention Of New Concepts In Learning Objects" (2007). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3199.