Bethany Rittle-Johnson

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Explaining new ideas to oneself can promote transfer, but how and when such self-explanation is effective is unclear. This study evaluated whether self-explanation leads to lasting improvements in transfer success and whether it is more effective in combination with direct instruction or invention. Third- through fifth-grade children (ages 8-11; n=85)(More)
This paper reports on a study of learning with erroneous examples, mathematical problems presented to students in which one or more of the steps are incorrect. It is hypothesized that such examples can deepen student understanding of mathematics content, yet very few empirical studies have tested this in classrooms settings. In a classroom study, 255 6th,(More)
We present a methodology for designing better learning environments. In Phase 1, 6th-grade students' (n = 223) prior knowledge was assessed using a difficulty factors assessment (DFA). The assessment revealed that scaffolds designed to elicit contex-tual, conceptual, or procedural knowledge each improved students' ability to add and subtract fractions.(More)
Cognitive modeling can be used to compare alternative instructional strategies and to guide the design of curriculum materials. We modeled two alternative strategies for fraction division, and the models led to specific empirical predictions of the benefits and drawbacks of each strategy. These insights provided concrete suggestions for developing lessons(More)
This study examines whether asking students to critique incorrect solutions to decimal problems based on common misconceptions can help them learn about decimals better than asking them to solve the same problems and receive feedback. In a web-based tutoring system, 208 middle school students either had to identify, explain, and correct errors made by a(More)
Conceptual change is a gradual process that occurs as students integrate new information into their existing conceptions. Throughout this process, assessing learning requires measures to diagnose misconceptions and understand how knowledge is changing. We developed three measures of misconceptions to assess students' knowledge early in instruction on(More)
BACKGROUND Knowledge of concepts and procedures seems to develop in an iterative fashion, with increases in one type of knowledge leading to increases in the other type of knowledge. This suggests that iterating between lessons on concepts and procedures may improve learning. AIMS The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the instructional benefits(More)
(2012). Erroneous examples versus problem solving: Can we improve how middle school students learn decimals? In N. Abstract Worked examples have been found to be effective tools in reducing cognitive load and supporting learning. Erroneous examples are worked examples that include incorrect steps and are intended to help students learn how to identify(More)