Learning Technique: Elaborative Interrogation

Although most studies have involved individual learning, elaborative-interrogation effects have also been shown among students working in dyads or small groups (Kahl & Woloshyn, 1994; Woloshyn & Stockley, 1995). (8)

the key to elaborative interrogation involves prompting learners to generate an explanation for an explicitly stated fact. (8)

The prevailing theoretical account of elaborative-interroga- tion effects is that elaborative interrogation enhances learning by supporting the integration of new information with existing prior knowledge. During elaborative interrogation, learners presumably “activate schemata . . . These schemata, in turn, help to organize new information which facilitates retrieval” (Willoughby & Wood, 1994, p. 140). Although the integration of new facts with prior knowledge may facilitate the organiza- tion (Hunt, 2006) of that information, organization alone is not sufficient—students must also be able to discriminate among related facts… (8)

elaborative interrogation does appear to benefit learners across a relatively wide age range (8)

prior knowledge is an important moderator of elaborative-interroga- tion effects, such that effects generally increase as prior knowledge increases. (9)

elaborative-interrogation effects are relatively robust across factual material of different kinds and with different contents. (9)

In a classroom situation as the place of study:
Performance was better for the elaborative-interrogation group than for the control group (76% versus 69%), even after con- trolling for prior knowledge and verbal ability. (10)

From
Dunlosky, et al “Improving Students’ Learning with Effective Learning Techniques” Psychological Science in the Public Interest 14.1 (2013): 4-58.

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