The effects of levels of elaboration on learners' strategic processing of text

Michele Dornisch, Rayne A. Sperling, Jill A. Zeruth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


In the current work, we examined learners' comprehension when engaged with elaborative processing strategies. In Experiment 1, we randomly assigned students to one of five elaborative processing conditions and addressed differences in learners' lower- and higher-order learning outcomes and ability to employ elaborative strategies. Findings indicated no significant differences among conditions on learning outcomes. However, learners better able to employ elaborative processing strategies performed better on outcome measures. Experiment 2 extended this research and addressed whether there would be differences across elaborative processing conditions in learners' comprehension at delayed testing. We also examined the role of motivation in performance and strategy use. Findings indicated no differences on the outcome measures at delayed testing; however, there were significant differences in learners' performance on an integration outcome at immediate testing. In addition, significant positive correlations were indicated for several outcome measures, strategy use and mastery orientation. Future research should further consider instructional scaffolds to promote learners' strategic processing and critical individual difference variables as they effect elaborative processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalInstructional Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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