The effects of kinetic structure and micrograph content on achievement in reading micrographs by college biology students



The effects of kinetic structure and micrograph content on student achievement of reading micrograph skills were examined. The purpose of the study was to determine which form of kinetic structure, high or low, and/or micrograph content, unified or varied, was most effective and if there were any interactive effects. Randomly assigned to four treatment groups, 100 introductory college biology students attended three audiovisual presentations and practice sessions on reading light, transmission electron, and scanning electron micrographs. The micrograph skills test, administered at two points in time, assessed knowledge acquisition and retention. The test measured general concept skills and actual reading micrograph skills separately. All significant tests were considered with an α = 0.05. High kinetic structure was found to be more effective than low kinetic structure in developing general concepts about micrographs. This finding supports Anderson's kinetic theory research. High kinetic structure instruction does not affect actual reading micrograph skills, but micrograph content does. Unified micrograph content practice sessions were more effective than varied micrograph content practice sessions. More attention should be given to the visual components of perceptual learning tasks.