This study aimed to identify the ways in which text genre affects information processing as well as how both of these factors together influence learning and memory. The subjects were 60 undergraduate students at Grand Valley State University who received course credit for participating. A knowledge assessment test was administered before and after the experiment in order to assess the level of learning achieved. The experiment also included an informational narrative text as well as an expository (textbook-like) text on the circulatory system. Both texts shared 10 identical target sentences. Subjects were recorded and instructed to read their assigned text out loud one sentence at a time and respond to each sentence with their own thoughts. These recordings were used to assess the type of processing subjects were using across the 10 identical sentences. It was found that the subjects' average learning was greater for the expository text. For the expository text, learning was positively correlated with paraphrasing and previous text elaborations. For the narrative text, elaborative comments and predictions were positively correlated with the post test scores. In addition, elaborative predictions were also positively correlated with learning. Any further conclusions are still pending.
Faculty Mentor: Michael Wolf
Kim presented at the meeting of the Society for Text and Discourse July 8, 2007 in Glasgow, Scotland.
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