- 1 Brief statement of principle
- 2 Description of principle
- 3 Experimental support
- 4 Theoretical rationale
- 5 Conditions of application
- 6 Caveats, limitations, open issues, or dissenting views
- 7 Variations (descendants)
- 8 Generalizations (ascendants)
- 9 References
Brief statement of principle
Instruction leads to more robust learning when it guides the learner's attention ("focuses") toward relevant features of the material, as opposed to unfocused instruction or instruction that guides attention toward irrelevant features.
Description of principle
This principle involves encouraging students to focus on the key knowledge components in the educational material they are studying. Feature focusing instruction may help students to learn knowledge components with higher feature validity. More geneally, attention focusing may also result in students spending more time during a learning event on a particular knowledge component and thus increase its strength.
- the Note-Taking studies in the Refinement and Fluency cluster.
- basic skills in Chinese
- learning French gender cues
- learninLink titleg Spanish conjugation
Laboratory experiment support
Two note-taking studies have found that when copy-pasting notes, students perform better on both Normal post-tests and long-term retention tests when they make selections that include only single ideas, rather than multiple ideas. While behavioral interventions have been effective in reducing selection size, they have not produced increased learning outcomes. With regards to note-taking students' ability to identify key knowledge components may be limited by their understanding of the material, rather than the note-taking interface.
In vivo experiment support
See the following PSLC studies:
- Learning the role of radicals in reading Chinese
- Chinese pinyin dictation
- Learning a tonal language: Chinese
(The authors of these studies should add a sentence or two summary of their findings in this section as well as update other relevant sections on this page.)
Feature focusing is a refinement process, where students are identifying the key ideas, and rejecting irrelevant or unimportant ideas. With regards to feature focusing in learning of explicit textual content, focusing on key ideas may be related to previous results where summaries were found to produce superior outcomes to full text (see Reder & Anderson).
Conditions of application
Caveats, limitations, open issues, or dissenting views
- Bauer, A., Koedinger, K. 2008. Note-Taking, Selecting, and Choice: Designing Interfaces that Encourage Smaller Seelctions. Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL 2008). To Appear.
- Bauer, A., Koedinger, K. 2007. Selection-Based Note-Taking Applications. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’07). 981-990.
- Bauer, A., Koedinger, K. 2006. Pasting and Encoding: Note-taking in Online Courses. IEEE ICALT ’06. 789-793.
- Reder, L. M. & Anderson, J. R. (1980a). A comparison of texts and their summaries: memorial consequences. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 198, 121-134.