Date of Graduation
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
School of Education
Learning and Instruction
Learning & Instruction EdD
Learning by example is nothing new to the education landscape. Research into think-aloud protocols, though often used as a form of assessment rather than instruction, provided practical, content-specific literacy strategies for crafting the instructional intervention in this study. Additionally, research into worked examples—from the earliest pen-and-paper studies of algebra and statistics, to more recent multimedia studies of legal reasoning and writing—shaped the conceptual framework for the present study by detailing a series of design principles for effective multimedia worked examples. This study aimed to reimagine the face-to-face, teacher-facilitated think-aloud as a multimedia worked example, which could be leveraged for differentiated, blended instruction to support adolescent readers.
The purpose of this study was to investigate how multimedia worked examples that explicitly model the reading habits of successful readers through teacher think-alouds could facilitate effective differentiated analytical reading instruction for high school English language arts students who have access to 1:1 technology. The study tested the worked examples principle on the ill-defined problem of analytical reading comprehension in the naturalistic setting of a high school English language arts classroom using the practitioner model of the think-aloud as guidance. The study considered the effect of multimedia think-aloud worked examples on analytical reading comprehension and mental effort, as well as on the student experience of studying complex passages from literary texts.
In this experiment, an explanatory sequential mixed-methodology study, 34 sophomore English students were randomly assigned to either the worked examples treatment condition or the traditional instruction comparison condition. Using a classic treatment-comparison repeat measures pretest-posttest design, students’ analytical reading comprehension and perceived mental effort was assessed. Later, in the qualitative phase of the study, the participant experience was described through interviews and annotations in order to more deeply understand the quantitative data collected.
Quantitative data were analyzed using a series of t tests between treatment and comparison groups for each phase of the study, as well as for gain scores from the baseline assessment to each of the intervention phases and to the posttest. Statistically significant differences were found between the treatment and comparison conditions for the analytical reading comprehension dependent variable at the first phase of the intervention and at the delayed posttest. No statistically significant results were found for the mental effort dependent variable. Qualitative data were coded and analyzed for emerging themes and patterns. These data revealed that students in the treatment group included higher quantity and quality annotations on their passages than did students in the comparison condition. Moreover, interviews revealed that students perceived the think-aloud process as distinct from their own analytical reading process, and they expressed that the think-aloud worked example videos increased their attention to detail, depth of analysis, ease of study, level of focus, and willingness to persist in a challenging task.
Neebe, D. C. (2017). Differentiating Literacy Instruction for Digital Learners: The Effect of Multimedia Think-Aloud Worked Examples on Adolescent Analytical Reading Comprehension. Retrieved from https://repository.usfca.edu/diss/335