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Title:Thirty years after Ausubel: An updated meta-analysis of advance organizer research
Author(s):Mahar, Carol Lee
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Koenke, Karl R.
Department / Program:Statistics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Education, Educational Psychology
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Abstract:A multitude of studies conducted on advance organizer effectiveness during the 1980-1990 time period were systematically examined, evaluated, and compared to studies carried out prior to 1979. In spite of wide variation in variables and a steady increase in variance in AO studies since 1960, effect sizes were found to have been generally positive. Experimental groups receiving advance organizers have outperformed 67% of the control group participants during the 30 year time period. Learning disabled students and preschool children have produced the most consistently positive results.
Two methods of meta-analysis were used to integrate and statistically analyze the variables and results. The first method considered effect size alone and did not include tests for significance. The second, and newer method, accounted for variance and sample size within the equations used for estimating effect size. The updated method seemed to yield more precise results regarding effectiveness.
Next, specific features used in construction of advance organizers in the research were compared to effect sizes. Fifty-six percent of the advance organizers used in AO studies since 1980 omitted the two features that emerged as the most significant in influencing effect sizes (those that link familiar material to the unfamiliar). Furthermore, 83% of the advance organizers were found to be generally incomplete when compared to Ausubel's theory and examples.
Finally, the first twenty years (1960-1980) of advance organizer (AO) research produced inconclusive results regarding instructional value. The studies carried out during the 1980s were compared to specific recommendations made by reviewers of AO research prior to 1979. It was found that AO researchers during the 1980s overlooked the recommendations and used even more disparate operational definitions, variables, and procedures. No common guidelines for constructing advance organizers were used. There has been a gradual decline in advance organizer research since 1970, but more than half the authors since 1960 have reported general and/or specific positive effects of the advance organizer on learning.
Issue Date:1992
Rights Information:Copyright 1992 Mahar, Carol Lee
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9215852
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9215852

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