Effects of the Specificity and the Format of External Representations on Studentsí Revisions of Fictitious Othersí Texts
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Abstract

Effects of the Specificity and the Format of External Representations on Studentsí Revisions of Fictitious Othersí Texts

Andreas Lachner & Teresa Schurer (2018)
Journal of Writing Research, 9(3), 333-351

University students are often challenged with the demand of providing cohesive explanatory texts. To support students in revising their explanatory texts with regard to cohesion, it could be useful to provide students with external representations as formative feedback. In this study, we provided participants with a scenario in which they were asked to review a fictitious studentís draft containing several cohesion gaps. Additionally, participants received an external representation as feedback to support them during their revisions. We varied the format (concept map versus outline) and the specificity (general versus specific) of the provided external representations.
We found that participants with specific concept map representations correctly noticed more cohesion gaps, and perceived less cognitive load during reviewing than participants with the specific outline representation. Students with general external representations showed the lowest performance on the noticing task and the highest amount of cognitive load. However, there were no differences among the external representations regarding the quality of studentsí revisions. Evidently, specific concept maps can be regarded as a useful scaffold to support studentsí evaluation processes. However, additional instructional support is needed, particularly for novice writers, to effectively revise expository texts for cohesion.

PDF | doi: 10.17239/jowr-2018.09.03.04

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