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Diagramming a Logic Strategy: Effects on Difficult Problem Types and Transfer

Grossen, B.; Carnine, D.
This article examines a study of two computer assisted instructional programs in syllogistic reasoning with 25 learning disabled high school students. The difference between the two programs was that one required more in depth processing with a diagrammatic response. For group assignment students were rank-ordered based on their total California Achievement Test achievement scale scores and then randomly assigned by pairs to each group. Students in each program received an equal amount of instruction. The purpose of the study was to determine whether instruction requiring students to draw diagrams while learning an explicit logic strategy would result in greater mastery of difficult problem types and in transfer of logic skills. Results indicated both groups improved their performance on difficult problem types. Additionally, students demonstrated the ability to perform complex logistical thinking tasks at a level equivalent to high-achieving students. The major difference between the two groups was the students who used diagrammatic responses required less trials to accomplish mastery of the material. These students also scored significantly higher posttest and maintenance test scores. (Copyright © 2011, National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI). All rights reserved).
Research areas:
Main publication type:
DI Overview & Background
Syllogistic reasoning; California Achievement Test; Spache Diagnostic Reading Scales; Euler-type diagrams; California Test of Mental Maturity; New Jersey Test of Reasoning
Learning Disability Quarterly
Design type:
Randomized experiment
Fidelity monitored:
Students included:
Learning disabled students, Caucasian students
Other tags:
Syllogistic reasoning, California Achievement Test (CAT), Spache Diagnostic Reading Scales, Euler-type diagrams, California Test of Mental Maturity (CTMM), New Jersey Test of Reasoning
High school, rural area
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