Enhancing learning using questions, adjunct to science charts


  • This article, excluding the references, appeared in Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 28, 1. It is recommended by the editor that all future reference to this article include its position in this issue, and not the former.


This study supported two hypotheses. First, adjunct questions interacted with a science chart so powerfully that content established as difficult to learn in the pilot and in this study's control groups became easier to learn when charted. Second, students familiar with the chart test before instruction (test exposure) were better prepared to take this test after instruction. This adjunct-question study examined the generalizability of selective-attention and academic-studying hypotheses to a modified science chart medium. About 300 high school students were randomly assigned to four conditions each including a vitamin chart (chart only, test exposure, importance of questions emphasized to students by teachers, and combinational conditions—test exposure and question importance) across 16 biology classrooms. Then these same students were again randomly assigned within each classroom to a control and to four question treatments no questions, questions focusing on easy-to-learn charted content, questions focusing on difficult-to-learn charted content, and a combinational treatment.