The Effects of Three Questioning Procedures on Seventh-Graders' History Text Recall and Question Generation.

Barbara Gallow Lyman, Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College


This study had three purposes. The first was to investigate the effects of three questioning procedures on seventh-graders' immediate and delayed recall of American history text information. The second was to assess the effects of these instructional treatments on the relation between students' predictions of performance on recall measures and actual scores. Finally, the study examined the frequency and quality of student generated questions under these treatments. Eighty seventh-grade students in four intact classes were assigned to one of the following treatment groups: self-questioning/direct instruction, self-questioning practice, question-answering practice, or a control group. Students in each treatment group were given a test of prior knowledge before the study began. All groups then took a pretest on which they read history passages, generated questions, rated expected performance, and responded to short answer and multiple choice recall questions that were text-explicit or text-implicit. This was followed by eight 50-minute instructional sessions over a 13-day period. These sessions were followed by an immediate posttest equivalent to the pretest. A delayed test of recall was also administered 13 days after the last day of instruction. It consisted of only the short answer and multiple choice questions answered during the immediate posttest. After adjustment for reading ability, results indicated that there were no significant differences among groups on the immediate or delayed measures of recall. Correlations between predicted and actual recall were not significantly higher for the self-questioning/direct instruction group than for other groups. In addition, results did not support the prediction that students who received direct instruction in generating questions would ask questions at a greater rate than others. However, there was a significant decrease in self-generated questions from pretest to posttest for the question-answering practice group. The hypothesis that, compared to others, self-questioning/direct instruction students would increase in proportion of text-implicit questions from pretest to posttest was not supported. The question-answering practice group declined on this factor. Possible reasons for the results of this study and implications for future research and practice are discussed.