Training secondary LD students in the use of semantic maps : effects on prose recall

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Landis, Brenda Coldren
Ulman, Jerome D.
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Thesis (D. Ed.)
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The purpose of this study was to determine if instructing secondary learning disabled students in how to use semantic maps and requiring the students to use semantic maps to study a passage would affect the recall of the passage after a 24 hour delay. An attempt was also made to determine if using a sequential list of the main points of the passage would affect delayed recall in the same positive way as did the use of the semantic maps. Four secondary learning disabled students who evidenced difficulty in recalling prose material after a 24 hour delay were selected for this study.A multiple baseline design across subjects using a multiple probe technique was used in this study. During baseline, students read a prose passage and were told to study it as they usually studied for a test since they would be asked questions about the passage the following day. Twenty-four hours later students were read 10 short-answer questions and their answers were recorded. Each student was in turn trained to use a semantic map to study a prose passage after reading it. When students exhibited Proficiency in using the semantic maps, daily assessments ofrecall were again made. Results showed that each of the four students recalled substantially more items when using the semantic map than during baseline.A changing elements design was then used to determine if using a sequential list of the main items from the passage would result in the same high recall scores which resulted from using the semantic maps. The results from this part of the study were inconclusive.It was concluded that training in the use of semantic maps and the requirement that a semantic map be used for study, resulted in increased recall for the secondary leaning disabled students in this study. The question of whether some other organizational format would be as effective as the use of the map needs further investigation.