The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of (a) active versus passive instruction and (b) teaching Blissymbol elements before and during the instruction of compound Blissymbols on the learning of those symbols. A microcomputer-based storytelling paradigm was used to teach 47 Blissymbols to 72 typically developing preschoolers. Participants were assigned to one of four experimental and two control groups. The control groups received no formal instruction, but one was exposed to the story and one was not. The experimental groups were exposed to the story and one of four experimental conditions: (1) active learning of Blissymbols with teaching elements before teaching compounds, (2) passive learning of Blissymbols with teaching elements before teaching compounds, (3) active learning of Blissymbols with teaching elements while teaching compounds, and (4) passive learning of Blissymbols with teaching elements while teaching compounds. A computer was used for the screening process and for the story display, instructional sessions, and testing of Blissymbol acquisition, retention, and generalization. A repeated-measures analysis of variance revealed that a greater number of Blissymbols were learned, retained, and generalized when active learning was present, regardless of the timing of instruction (i.e., before or during). A multivariate analysis confirmed these results across element, compound, and novel compound Blissymbols. The significance of these findings and directions for future research are discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author wishes to express appreciation to Dr. Ray W. Quist for his suggestions and comments on earlier versions of this manuscript. This research was partially supported by a Purdue Research Foundation (PRF) fellowship awarded from Purdue University to Dr. Lyle L. Lloyd, the major advisor of the first author. Points of view or opinions stated in this paper do not necessarily represent official agency positions. This study was based on a dissertation completed by the first author in the School of Education at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Speech and Hearing