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Catherine Bohn-Gettler, Education


The purpose of the study is to see whether process-vs. product-oriented instructions, or a combination of both, influence the degree to which readers engage in paraphrasing (restating text in your own words), comprehension monitoring (reflecting on one’s understanding), predicting, self-explaining the content of a text, or other processes (called “special cases”) during reading. The materials used for this experiment included a text entitles How the Piloses Evolved Skinny Noses, and a shortened version of the Conceptual Inventory of Natural Selection (as a measure of prior knowledge). The Piloses text was taken from a children’s novel that uses text and picture to introduce the topic of natural selection and evolution. A significant result was found for special cases, such that the control and the product-only group generated more special cases than the process-only and the process-and-product groups. In addition, self-explanation scores for the control and the product-only group were lower than the process-only and the process-and-product groups. Finally, there were no differences related to comprehension monitoring and predictions. There were significant results for subcategories for Paraphrasing. Controlling for prior knowledge, the process-only and process-and-product groups engaged in more paraphrasing, and their paraphrase were more lexically similar, more complete and more accurate. Overall, our study emphasizes the importance of teaching students a process in order to effectively study rather than simply explaining the end goal.