Learning from Multiple Representations

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Learning from multiple representations (MRs) is not an easy task for most ­people, despite how easy it is for experts. Different combinations of representations (e.g., text + photograph, graph + formula, map + diagram) pose different challenges for learners, but across the literature researchers find these to be challenging learning tasks. Each representation typically includes some unique information, as well as some information shared with the other representation(s). Finding one piece of information is only somewhat challenging, but linking information across representations and especially making inferences are very challenging and important parts of using multiple representations for learning. Coordination of multiple representations skills are rarely taught in classrooms, despite the fact that learners are frequently tested on them. Learning from MRs depends on the specific learning tasks posed, learner characteristics, the specifics of which representation(s) are used, and the design of each representation. These various factors act separately and in combination (which can be compensatory, additive, or interactive). Learning tasks can be differentially effective depending on learner characteristics, especially prior knowledge, self-regulation, and age/grade. Learning tasks should be designed keeping this differential effectiveness in mind, and researchers should test for such interactions.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Learning from Multiple Representations and Perspectives
EditorsPeggy Van Meter, Alexandra List, Doug Lombardi, Panayiota Kendeou
PublisherRoutledge
Pages62-75
ISBN (Electronic)9780429443961
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 19 2020

Cite this

Cromley, J. G. (2020). Learning from Multiple Representations. In P. Van Meter, A. List, D. Lombardi, & P. Kendeou (Eds.), Handbook of Learning from Multiple Representations and Perspectives (pp. 62-75). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429443961-6