Effects of Elaboration Frequency on Cooperative Learning

Angela M. O'Donnell, Donald F. Dansereau, Thomas R. Rocklin, Velma I. Hythecker, Judith G. Lambiotte, Celia O. Larson, Michael D. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The present study assessed the impact of the frequency of elaborations on the text processing performance of dyads and individuals using technical text. Ninety participants were recruited from introductory psychology classes at Texas Christian University. The participants were assigned to one of four groups: multiple elaboration dyads, single elaboration dyads, multiple elaboration individuals, and single elaboration individuals. Students in the frequent elaboration groups elaborated four times while studying the first passage; students in the infrequent elaboration groups elaborated once. One technical text passage was studied according to the experimental condition and another passage was subsequently studied alone. Cooperative interaction and multiple elaboration activity led to better performance when descriptive information was being learned but not when procedural information was being learned. Allowing students to incorporate elements of the learning strategy into their own study plans rather than requiring them to use the entire strategy seemed to be more effective on the transfer task.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)572-580
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1985
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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