- Effects of observational learning on students' use of and attitude towards reading and learning strategies
- L1 Educational Studies in Language and Literature
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE)
Previous research has shown that observation can be effective for learning in various domains, for instance writing, reading and creative art work. By observing models at work, students may develop strategic knowledge and they may also change their conception of what the modeled skill involves. The question in this study is which instructional approach is more effective for students’ processes of text studying: learning by observation or learning by practicing? We designed an intervention that enables students to learn from observation of video models. The models in these videos are peers, who read and learn a history text while thinking aloud.
In a pre-test/post-test control group design we assigned 52 Dutch students (15-18 years old) to one of two conditions; one observational learning condition and a control condition (learning by practicing). In the observational learning condition students were asked to observe and evaluate the thinking processes of two peers on video, and decide which one was the weaker or better performer of a study task. In the control condition, students received direct instruction in reading and learning strategies.
We measured students’ attitude and self-reported use of learning strategies with a questionnaire (at pre- and post-test) and a learner report (post-test only). Students’ use of strategies at pre- and post-test was measured with a thinking-aloud task with eight participants of each condition.
Results of the thinking-aloud task showed that students in the observational learning condition more often checked their own understanding of the text while studying for a history test than students in the control condition. Moreover, experimental students reported more learning experiences in their learner reports than the control group. This group also reported almost 10% more metacognitive learner experiences in the same learner reports.
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