College instruction and concomitant changes in students' knowledge, interest, and strategy use: A study of domain learning

Patricia A. Alexander, P. Karen Murphy, Bradford S. Woods, Karen E. Duhon, Dawn Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations

Abstract

Our purpose in this study was to explore changes that occurred in college students' knowledge, interests, and strategy use as a consequence of the formal instruction they received in a specific domain. This exploration is reported in three parts. Part I is a brief overview of the Model of Domain Learning - the framework upon which we based our predictions of student change. In Part II, specific changes in knowledge, interest, and strategy use of 329 undergraduate students enrolled in an introductory educational psychology course are tested and compared to predicted changes. Finally, in Part III, measures are positioned within a structural equation model allowing for a more systemic picture of the change process. Among the significant transformations we identified were increases in students' domain knowledge and in their interests in educational psychology. Also, students' use of text-based strategies (e.g., rereading) decreased while use of deeper-processing strategies (e.g., building a mental representation) increased from pretest to posttest. Formal instruction also affected the relationships between and among variables. Based on these findings, we forward implications for research design and methodology, as well as for instructional practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-146
Number of pages22
JournalContemporary Educational Psychology
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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