Interventions to support learning from multiple external representations

Peggy Van Meter, Nicholas Stepanik

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Students are often expected to learn from multiple external representations (MERs) that include both verbal and visual representations. This learning requires students to execute the cognitive operations of selecting key elements from all representations, organizing these into locally coherent representations, and integrating across representations and with prior knowledge to achieve global coherence. Despite the prevalence of MERs in instructional materials, many students are unable to fully exploit their learning potential. In this chapter, we review interventions that have been designed to improve this learning. The framework that organizes this review draws attention to the source that stimulates and supports the cognitive operations of MERs learning; i.e., the materials, the learner, or a response prompt. Regardless of the source, interventions that support the cognitive operations of MERs processing have positive effects on learning. Patterns within the current research and directions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Learning from Multiple Representations and Perspectives
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780429813665
ISBN (Print)9780367001179
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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