Learning can be cognitively inaccessible when successful learning requires specific information processing strategies, and when there are no options for individuals who lack such strategies. When presented with new concepts, experienced learners use prior knowledge and experience to facilitate their information processing. However, many students lack the experience and the skills that guide them in their learning. These students benefit from explicit instruction and practice on the strategies involved in the selection and manipulation of information so that it can be better summarized, categorized, prioritized, contextualized and remembered. The experimental and quantitative research listed here suggests that strategies such as explicit prompts, graphic organizers, concept maps, strategy instruction, and chunking information into smaller elements all serve to increase student achievement. The scholarly reviews and expert opinions provide a more classroom based perspective on effectively guiding students’ information processing.
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Last Updated: 02/01/2011