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The effects of verbal cues on the learning of visual sequences Mosedale, Donald S.

Abstract

The present study investigated the effects of verbal cues on the learning of visual sequences involving eight elements. Grade two subjects were assigned to three experimental conditions and were given a learning task and a transfer task. The three experimental conditions involved three types of training on a visual sequencing task and differences among the three groups were determined by performance on a posttest after training. The three training conditions were as follows: 1. "Look" group. Subjects were asked to look at the elements in the sequence. 2. "Name" group. Names were attached to the elements of the sequence as they were presented. 3. "Name and Ordinal Position" group. Names and ordinal positions were attached to the elements of the sequence as they were presented. The learning task consisted of a pretest, training according to treatment group, and a posttest. The transfer task consisted of a pretest and a posttest without specific training on transfer task elements. Each subject was put through a four-day cycle: 1. Day 1. Learning task and transfer task pretest. 2. Day 2. Training in visual sequencing according to treatment condition assigned. 3. Day 3. Learning task posttest. 4. Day 4. Transfer task posttest. The findings of this experimental study indicate that attaching names and ordinal positions to the elements in a visual sequence facilitates the learning of the sequence. While the ordinal position factor did not facilitate learning to a statistically significant degree in the learning task, the sample data showed that the group using this cue did perform the task in fewer trials than the "Look" group and the "Name" group. On the transfer task, the performance of the "Name and Ordinal Position" group was significantly better than the other two groups.

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