Cover: Individual differences in knowledge acquisition from maps

Individual differences in knowledge acquisition from maps

Published 1979

by Perry W. Thorndyke, Cathy Stasz

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Investigated strategies people use to acquire knowledge from maps. Three expert and five novice map users studied a map and provided verbal protocols of their study behavior. Analysis of learning protocols suggested four categories of processes that were invoked during learning: attention, encoding, evaluation, and control. Large individual differences in both performance and strategy usage were observed in this task. Analyses of performance and strategy data revealed that use of certain strategies in each category, particularly those used for encoding spatial information, was most predictive of learning performance. In addition, good learners differed from poor learners in their ability to evaluate their learning progress and to focus their attention on unlearned information. An analysis of performance of map-using experts suggested that success in learning depended on strategies and not on familiarity with the task domain or materials. The implications of these results for training expertise in map learning are discussed.

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