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The use of concept mapping tactics in cognitive strategies for writing summaries of technical material

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The use of concept mapping tactics in cognitive strategies for writing summaries of technical material
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Osman-Jouchoux, Rionda
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ix, 103 leaves : illustrations ; 29 cm

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Technical writing -- Study and teaching (Higher) ( lcsh )
Technical writing -- Study and teaching (Higher) ( fast )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 98-103).
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Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Doctor of Philosophy, Educational Leadership and Innovation.
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School of Education and Human Development
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by Rionda Osman-Jouchoux.

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Full Text
t
THE USE OF CONCEPT MAPPING TACTICS IN COGNITIVE
STRATEGIES FOR WRITING SUMMARIES OF TECHNICAL MATERIAL
by
Rionda Osman-Jouchoux
B.A., Ohio State University, 1970
lie., Universite de Paris X, 1983
M.S., University of Colorado at Denver, 1991
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
Educational Leadership and Innovation
1997


1997 by Rionda Osman-Jouchoux
All rights reserved.


This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy
degree by
Rionda Osman-Jouchoux
has been approved
by

R. Scott Grabinger
-}L Ci -
Judith Duffield

Laura Goodwin
Dian Walster


Osman-Jouchoux, Rionda (Ph.D., Educational Leadership and Innovation)
The Use of Concept Mapping Tactics in Cognitive Strategies for Writing
Summaries of Technical Material
Thesis directed by Associate Professor R. Scott Grabinger
Cognitive strategies provide ways for learners to improve their learning and
their performance. To take advantage of the potential benefits of cognitive
strategy instruction, practitioners need to find ways to implement strategies and
tactics in real-world contexts. Once such tactic is cognitive mapping.
Students in undergraduate technical writing classes practiced cognitive
strategies for reading difficult technical material and for summarizing text.
Concept maps were used as a tactic to organize information to be summarized.
Participants who created or used maps were expected to have a deeper
understanding of the text and, thus, to transform ideas more readily than
participants who did not invest that type of effort. Additionally, participants who
constructed maps were expected to transform ideas more readily than those who
studied a pre-constructed map.
Map-using groups did produce more transformations of ideas in their
summaries than the control groups; although, no statistically significant
differences were found among three treatments, construct-map, consult-map, and
no-map. Participants who consulted maps produced as many transformations as
did those who constructed maps. Differences in the instructional context may
have contributed to this result, or the use of maps may have served to alter the
participants interpretation of the task of summarizing.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidates thesis. I
recommend its publication.
ABSTRACT
r
R. Scott Grabihger


To the memories of
Maude Smith Osman,
Ina Leda Clemens Carpenter,
and
Odette Gaiffe Jouchoux
I
I
I
I
l


ACKNOWLEDGMENT
I thank Scott Grabinger, my advisor, for his unfailing support and good
humor during my studies.
Thanks are due to the members of my committee, Judith Duffield, Laura
Goodwin, Suzanne Schneider, and Dian Walster, for the time and
encouragement they have given to me.
I thank Suzanne Schneider, also, for allowing me to add the summarizing
module to the technical writing curriculum and for allowing her instructors to
work with me. Those instructors of the Technical Communication Program of
the University of Colorado at Denver are Lesley Hoppert, Hannah Kelminson,
and Mark Wemer. I am grateful to each of them.
Lori Allen of the Technical Communication Department at Metropolitan
State College of Denver added this module to that curriculum, and she taught
three sections. Her willingness to help in this research project was invaluable.
Finally, I thank Alain Jouchoux for his unending patience, his unstinting
support, his unwavering belief that this course of graduate study was a good
idea, and his never-flagging faith that one day I would finish school. Perhaps
one day he really will retire.


CONTENTS
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION..............................................1
2. BACKGROUND................................................3
Cognitive Strategy Instruction...........................3
Strategies and Tactics Defined.......................3
Metacognition and Strategy Instruction...............5
Issues of Cognitive Strategy Instruction.............6
Early Concerns of Content, Methods, and Assessment.6
Recent Focus on Usage............................7
Self-regulated Learning..............................8
Concept maps............................................13
Concept maps to support summarizing texts...............15
Summary.................................................20
3. METHOD...................................................21
Participants............................................21
Design..................................................21
Procedures..............................................21
Instruments.............................................23
Demographic Survey..................................23
Learning Strategy Survey............................23


Materials....................................................24
Preliminary Summary......................................24
Instructional Module.....................................24
Final Summary............................................28
Scoring Elements.............................................28
Scoring System...........................................31
Interrater Reliability.......................................33
Summary......................................................34
4. RESULTS.......................................................35
First Hypothesis.............................................35
Analysis of Variance of the Summary Transformation
Percentages.........................................36
Chi-Square Test of Association of the Transformation Usage
Groups..................................................37
Second Hypothesis............................................37
Analysis of Variance to Compare Treatments 1 and 2.......38
Summary......................................................38
5. DISCUSSION....................................................39
Conditions of this Study.....................................40
The Summarizing Task.........................................42
Conclusions..................................................44
Implications for Extending this Study....................44
Different Population................................44
Different Instructional Contexts....................44
Other Questions.....................................45
Implications for Instruction.............................45
Implications for Technical Communicators.................46
Summary......................................................47
viii


APPENDIX
A. SUMMARYPLUS DESIGN DOCUMENTATION.........48
B. SUMMARYPLUS INSTRUCTIONAL MODULE.........61
C. CONSENT FORM.............................81
D. DEMOGRAPHIC SURVEY.......................83
E. LEARNING STRATEGY SURVEY QUESTIONS.......86
F. PRELIMINARY SUMMARY......................88
G. FINAL SUMMARY............................90
REFERENCES......................................98
ix


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
Practitioners and researchers have found renewed interest in cognitive
strategy instruction. New theoretical models of learning emphasize the complex
interactions of context, ability, and disposition. The learning strategy literature is
replete with descriptions of entire programs as well as individual techniques to
improve learning performance. To take advantage of the potential benefits of
cognitive strategy instruction, practitioners need to find ways to implement both
strategies, complex plans to reach a goal, and tactics, techniques used within
those plans.
Within strategies for reading technical texts efficiently and producing a
summary of that text, we can identify the need to organize ones understanding.
One tactic to accomplish such organization is concept mapping. The activity of
constructing a concept map can be expected to encourage learners to select
important ideas and to connect those ideas with each other and with already
known information.
This study sought to determine whether cognitive mapping can serve as an
effective technique to link reading and writing strategies. Students in
undergraduate technical writing classes practiced cognitive strategies for reading
difficult technical material and for summarizing text. Concept maps were used as
a tactic to organize information to be summarized. Participants who created or
used maps were expected to have a deeper understanding of the text and, thus, to
transform ideas more readily than students who did not invest that type of effort.
The activities of selecting important ideas and making connection among
those ideas are key parts of the self-regulated learning theory developed by
Como and Mandinach (1983). Learners who transform ideas more readily could
be expected to be comprehensively engaged in learning; that is, they would be
l


using at an optimum level cognitive processes necessary for the acquisition and
transformation of information. Como and Mandinach (1983) also described a
response to an instructional situation in which students passively receive
information that has been structured and organized for them. Such instruction has
been termed short-circuiting by Salomon (1979). Providing expert-constructed
concept maps could be expected to encourage learners to invest less effort in their
learning.
Participants in this study completed a three-part module on summarizing
technical texts. Cognitive strategy instruction guided them through reading texts
and summarizing. Some groups constructed maps as an organizing tactic after
they had read the texts and as they began to write their summaries. Some groups
consulted pre-constructed maps. Some groups organized their understanding of
the text without maps. The participants produced summaries that were examined
for evidence of transformation, paraphrases, combinations of ideas, and
substitution of global terms.
Chapter 2 reviews the literature of cognitive strategy instruction and a
theoretical framework of self-regulated learning. The role of concept maps in
cognitive strategies and the instructional task of summarizing is examined.
Chapter 3 describes the method used to investigate the questions of (a)
whether groups that used maps would produce summaries with more
transformations than groups who did not use maps and (b) whether groups who
constructed maps produced more transformations than groups who consulted
maps. The instructional module used in this study is described. The scoring
system and efforts to determine reliability are described.
Chapter 4 reports the results obtained from analyses of summary scores.
Chapter 5 discusses the results and presents some conclusions that can be
drawn from this study.
2


CHAPTER 2
BACKGROUND
This chapter reviews the literature that addresses cognitive strategy
instruction and a theoretical framework of self-regulated learning. Then, the role
of concept maps in cognitive strategies is examined. Finally, the instructional
task of summarizing is examined.
Cognitive Strategy Instruction
The appeal of teaching cognitive skills to improve learning surpasses simple
intuition that knowing how to leam is useful. Learners can improve performance
by managing their own cognition, and such behavior can be taught (see, for
example, Pressley & Woloshyn, 1995). Chipman and Segal (1985) argued that
great gains can be made by purposefully instructing students in learning and
thinking skills. However, they noted that learning skills instruction is relatively
uncommon in public schools even though successful learners have a limited
repertoire of learning skills and poorer learners have even fewer.
Let us first address the definitions of strategies and tactics and then consider
the metacognitive basis for cognitive strategy instruction. Then, the context for
cognitive strategy instruction will be discussed and a theoretical framework of
self-regulated learning will be examined for clues to successful strategy
instruction.
Strategies and Tactics Defined
To define the term cognitive strategy we should consider the definition of
learning strategy formulated by Derry (1990). She pointed out that the literature
had referred to learning strategies as different things: as particular skills (for
example, rehearsing or imaging), as more general self-management activities (for
3


example, planning and monitoring ones progress), and as complex plans that
combined several techniques. Derry distinguished between strategies complex
plans to achieve a goal and tactics specific techniques to implement those
plans. In her definition, a learning strategy is seen as the application of one or
more specific learning tactics to a learning problem (p. 348).
When we examine what sorts of problems we are asking learners to
address, we must include higher order thinking skills and self-regulated learning
(Jones & Idol, 1990). Cognitive skills encompassed in those higher order
thinking skills include conceptualizing, forming principles, comprehending,
composing, engaging in oral discourse, engaging in scientific inquiry, solving
problems, and making decisions (see the framework adopted by Jones & Idol,
1990). Self-regulated learners accept responsibility for their learning, set learning
goals, and choose appropriate strategies and tactics to reach those goals (see
Zimmerman & Schunk, 1989). When we consider this expanded vision of
learning problems, the term cognitive strategy more precisely encompasses the
types of skills and activities being addressed, and we can modify Derrys
definition: a cognitive strategy is the application of one or more specific learning
tactics to a learning problem.
One example of a cognitive strategy is Polyas problem-solving model for
mathematics outlined by Pressley and Woloshyn (1995). In the model, problem
solvers first develop an understanding of the problem, then devise a plan which
is carried out, and then review their work. In each of these stages, various tactics
can be employed. For example, to achieve the goal of understanding the
problem, using a specific format to list known and unknown elements would be
a tactic in support of a strategy of identifying important and missing information.
Cognitive strategy instruction involves more than teaching simple steps to
complete a routine. Recent theoretical studies and research, as reviewed by
Pressley and Woloshyn (1995), acknowledge that successful instruction includes
metacognitive information about strategies as well as skills to control ones own
learning. Metacognitive skills ensure that learners know when and where to use
strategies, and such skills are often both the method and the outcome of cognitive
strategy instruction.
4


Metacognition and Strategy Instruction
The basis for, as well as the aim of, most cognitive strategy instruction is
metacognition, the ability to reflect upon, understand, and control ones
learning (Schraw & Dennison, 1994, p. 460). Paris and Winograd (1990) noted
that metacognition is embedded in cognitive development and encompasses
knowledge and abilities that develop with experience. They added that
metacognitive skill is both a product and a producer of cognitive development
(Paris & Winograd, 1990, p. 19). As Chipman and Segal (1985) pointed out, the
goal of most cognitive skills training is metacognitive sophistication, the
deliberate and reasoned deployment of cognitive resources and strategies.
The present discussion about metacognition incorporates two aspects:
knowledge about cognition and regulation of cognition. Knowledge about
cognition includes knowing ones own capacities and propensities, knowing
about strategies, knowing how to use strategies, and knowing when and why to
use strategies. Regulation of cognition includes understanding the requirements
of a task and planning how to accomplish the task by identifying and selecting
appropriate strategies. Regulating learning also includes checking to see whether
the procedures are working effectively, knowing what to do if they are not, and
evaluating ones current progress (Pace, 1985).
These two aspects of metacognition are apparent in Pressley and
Woloshyns (1995) instructional summary of question-answering strategies for
improving reading comprehension (based on the lookback strategy of Gamer,
Hare, Alexander, Haynes, & Winograd, 1984). Inexperienced readers were
taught why and how to consult the texts they read to answer questions. They
were taught why they should look at the text (to supplement memory), when to
look at the text (to address issues of fact instead of opinion), and where to look
(to skim the entire article). To complete this strategy successfully, learners would
know their memory capacity, they would choose to consult the text when they
were asked for information from the text, and they would be able to determine
when they had reviewed enough information to answer the questions.
Let us now consider how researchers and practitioners have conducted and
studied cognitive strategy instruction.
5


Issues of Cognitive Strategy Instruction
Early Concerns of Content. Methods, and Assessment
Early researchers devised entire programs of cognitive strategy instruction
and conducted laboratory and field studies of those programs (for example, the
readings in Holley & Dansereau, 1984b; ONeil, 1978; Segal, Chipman, &
Glaser, 1985; Weinstein, Goetz, & Alexander, 1988). Some concentrated on
various tactics to aid memory; others matched particular strategies to tasks to be
mastered; still others sought to train learners to optimize their learning in a variety
of situations. The diversity of strategies and training produced a wealth of
information and an array of studies and choices for researchers and practitioners.
Dansereau (1985) identified three issues of interest to researchers and
practitioners: choosing strategies for instruction, choosing instructional methods,
and assessing effectiveness. The first of these issues, choosing strategies,
required researchers to consider that strategies may vary in several important
ways. Dansereaus taxonomy was based on the variations of strategies along
these dimensions: whether they addressed particular content or sought to improve
learning skills; whether they were algorithmic or heuristic; whether they were
broad in scope (for example, comprehension of a long text) or narrow (for
example, memorization of a short list of words); whether they were generalizable
to a wide range of tasks (for example, text processing strategies that are not
content-related) or more specific to particular tasks (for example, strategies that
address particular kinds of mathematical problems).
The second issue of interest to researchers and practitioners, according to
Dansereau (1985), was choosing instructional methods. He pointed out that one
must balance the effectiveness of the strategy and the amount of time required to
teach the strategy. Dansereau found that content-independent, general strategy
training had been only moderately successful and that participants had great
difficulty adapting strategies to new contexts. Teaching specialized strategies, of
course, was of limited generalizability, and Dansereau and his colleagues opted
to teach a hierarchy of strategies, beginning with the more general ones and
proceeding to more specialized, content-dependent strategies.
The third issue of interest to researchers and practitioners was assessing
effectiveness. Dansereau (1985) found that individual differences greatly affected
statistical analyses of differences between treatment groups in his experiments
6


and that measures of verbal ability are the most revealing of differences amongst
the groups. He also noted that no-treatment control groups may not be effective
because most students bring habits and strategies to the instructional situation.
Finally, researchers should seek a variety of measures of performance: short-text
tests may not reflect the skills necessary to process long texts, grade-point
averages are difficult to standardize, and self-report measures may be difficult to
interpret.
These issues, choosing what to teach, how to teach, and how to measure
effectiveness, are still of concern to researchers and practitioners. However, we
have a broad base of research information to guide our choices in these matters.
More recent research has brought a new focus to cognitive strategy instruction.
Recent Focus on Usage
Resnick (1989) noted that from the early programs and studies we have
learned that teaching particular strategies and tactics can be successful. However,
when we consider that one of the goals of instruction is transfer, the carryover of
knowledge and skills from one situation or context to another, that success
becomes qualified. In particular. Resnick pointed out that when strategies are
learned and practiced in isolation, students rarely use them spontaneously; that
when strategies are embedded in content, students are unlikely to use those
strategies in other disciplines; and that whether people use a strategy seems to be
dependent on their views of themselves and their motivation.
The choice to use or not to use a strategy remains one of the most
challenging and elusive aspects of teaching cognitive strategies. Experts in
metacognitive instruction tell us that learners who use cognitive strategies can
improve their learning performance that learners can achieve better results than
predicted by indicators of aptitude and ability (Flaveil. Miller, & Miller, 1993;
Zimmerman & Schunk, 1989). Yet, learners often do not choose to use effective
learning strategies.
Gamer delineated several causes of failure to use strategies (1990; Gamer &
Alexander, 1989). She cited developmental differences in ability to use
strategies, misunderstandings of tasks, and beliefs about efficacy to be important
determinants of strategy use or non-use. Gamer (1990) noted that learners
modulate their use of and need for strategies depending on their background
knowledge. She theorized that learners who do not translate their strategic
7


knowledge into action fail to do so for a variety of reasons, including poor
cognitive monitoring, inefficient but partially effective routines, insufficient
knowledge, non-supportive attributions and instructional situations, and minimal
transfer.
If we consider Gamers points, we can describe a context that would
encourage optimum strategy use. The learning context, then, should be most
conducive to strategy use when tasks are relevant, when strategies match the
task, and when the learners are aware of the goals and the utility of the strategies
themselves. We can also expect learners to respond to clear, explicit directions
and to evaluations that reward mastery of skills. When these contextual factors
are optimized, learners should be encouraged to expend effort in productive
ways.
To create conducive contexts, instructional designers can turn to recent
models of thinking and learning. As Pressley and Woloshyn (1995) pointed out,
these new theoretical models provide a way for designers and instructors to
approach the wealth of knowledge we possess about cognitive strategies and
about how to teach them. They cited, in particular, the work of Baron (1985) and
of Brown, Bransford, Ferrara, and Campione (1983) and of Pressley (1995).
They noted that these models address the cognitive, metacognitive, and social-
emotional aspects of thinking that affect how the classroom functions and that
can be altered using instruction.
One model that seeks to describe learning in context is the model of self-
regulated learning of Como and Mandinach (1983). Their framework provides a
way to examine how learners respond to various instructional situations.
Self-regulated Learning
Como and Mandinach (1983) define self-regulated learning as an effort put
forth by students to deepen and manipulate the associative network in content
areas, and to monitor and improve that deepening process (Como &
Mandinach, 1983, p. 95). Como (1989) elaborated that this definition rests on
the assumption that students vary in how they practice self-regulated learning and
in their need to regulate their learning.
The Como and Mandinach (1983) model describes two levels or classes of
information processing acquisition and transformation that are attained
8


through component cognitive processes. (See Table 2.1.) The component
cognitive processes of the acquisition level include: attending, rehearsing,
monitoring, and strategic planning. The component cognitive processes of the
transformation level include selecting, connecting, and tactical planning.
According to Como and Mandinach (1983), learners use, in varying ways,
both sets of the component processes, those processes for acquiring information
and those for transforming information. For given tasks, learners may use more
or fewer of the acquisition or transformation processes; that is, they are
cognitively engaged in different ways in response to different situations.
Salomons (1983) investigations into the amount of invested mental effort
exemplifies this type of varying response: children reported that they expended
more effort reading difficult texts than easy texts; children who read for fun
reported that they invested less effort than those who read for an exam; children
who viewed a television program designed for public television reported that they
invested more effort than did those who viewed a program destined for
commercial networks.
Como and Mandinach describe four forms of engagement: recipience,
resource management, task focus, and comprehensive engagement.1 (See Table
2.2.) In the recipience form of engagement, learners passively respond to an
instructional environment that short-circuits their cognitive processing (Salomon,
1983, 1984). Outlines, organizers, summaries, and charts used to identify
important information for learners can short-circuit both acquisition and
transformation processes because learners do not need to expend effort. Some
tasks, such as learning the gist of a text, call predominantly on the acquisition-
level processes of attending and rehearsing.
In the resource management form of engagement, learners deliberately avoid
transformation processes. Como and Mandinach (1983) described a highly
functional strategy in which learners were skilled users of acquisition and
1 Como and Mandinach (1983) originally termed this fourth form of engagement self-regulated
learning. Howard-Rose and Winne (1993) labeled this form comprehensive engagement to
avoid confusion. That term is adopted in this study.
9


f
I
i
i
t
Table 2.1.
Components of Self-Regulated Learning
Acquisition level: attending receiving incoming stimuli gathering information attending
rehearsing repeating information to oneself
monitoring self-checking general understanding tracking stimuli and transformations self-checking specific transformations
strategic planning overviewing task assessing goals, constraints, resources representing information systematically seeking outside resources as needed
Transformation level:
selecting discriminating among stimuli distinguishing relevant information
connecting searching for familiar knowledge linking prior knowledge to new information making connections or drawing inferences
tactical planning organizing a task sequence or performance routine
Note. From The Role of Cognitive Engagement in Classroom Learning and
Motivation, by L. Como and E. B. Mandinach, 1983, Educational
Psychologist. 18. p. 94. Copyright 1983 by Division 15 of the American
Psychological Association, Inc. Adapted with permission.
10


Table 2.2.
Forms of Engagement
Acquisition level:
attending, rehearsing, monitoring, strategic planning
high use low use
high
use
Transformation
level:
selecting,
connecting,
tactical planning
low
use
comprehensive
engagement
processes: acquisition
and transformation
tasks: optimum use of
all skills
situation: inquiry or
discovery learning
resource management
process: acquisition
tasks: seeking others
help
situation: cooperative
work to trade tasks to
avoid transformation
processes
task focus
process: transformation
tasks: relying on
analytical efforts before
consulting resources
situation: achievement
and ability tests
recipience
processes: attending,
rehearsing
tasks: learning the gist
situation: short-
circuiting instruction
Note. From The Role of Cognitive Engagement in Classroom Learning and
Motivation, by L. Como and E. B. Mandinach, 1983, Educational
Psychologist. 18. p. 96. Copyright 1983 by Division 15 of the American
Psychological Association, Inc. Adapted with permission.
And from Measuring components and sets of cognitive processes in
self-regulated learning, by D. Howard-Rose and P. H. Winne, 1993, Journal of
Educational Psychology. 85 (4). p. 604. Copyright 1993 by Division 15 of the
American Psychological Association, Inc. Adapted with permission.
ll


planning processes; they were then able to complete the remaining processes with
help from other sources. Some learners in cooperative situations are able to
organize their work and others so that they obtain help on task features they find
difficult. Adult literacy students are often extremely skilled resource managers,
devising ways to conduct their jobs and lives without reading skills; many are
able to hide their deficiency in reading and writing from even their closest
associates and family members (D. Sherry, personal communication, June 10,
1992).
In the task focus form of engagement, learners selectively ignored
information that did not contribute to their analysis of task features and
requirements. Such tasks require selecting, connecting new and old information,
and task-specific planning. Learners engaged in spatial ability tests and math and
science problem-solving tests were observed to examine items carefully for
specific information, compare items, visualize figures in space, and efficiently
eliminate incorrect responses (Como & Mandinach, 1983).
In comprehensive engagement, learners actively use all of the acquisition
and transformation processes. Discovery or inquiry learning tasks require
comprehensive engagement, as does preparing to teach others. Within this
theoretical framework of self-regulated learning processes, efficient, effective
learners:
attend to instruction and gather information,
encode information into memory and rehearse,
monitor their cognition by self-checking both their general understanding
and their specific transformations
make strategic plans by assessing goals, constraints and resources,
representing information systematically, and seeking outside resources
select relevant information
connect prior knowledge to new information and drawing inferences
make tactical plans to perform task sequences
Learners do not necessarily perform all of these activities all of the time at a
constant level of effort, nor should they do so. As a function of their own goals,
they choose the most appropriate response to the instructional situation and the
task. Each form of engagement is functional for particular tasks, and Como and
12


Mandinach (1983) emphasized that instructional programs should encourage and
teach learners to shift among forms of engagement.
Thus, Como and Mandinachs (1983) model of self-regulated learning
provides a framework to describe what learners are doing, or what their
instructors hope they are doing, in response to particular learning contexts. The
cognitive processes outlined in the model overlap and intertwine with the goals of
cognitive strategy instruction, to understand and control ones own learning. We
can use Como and Mandinachs description of how learners use acquisition and
transformation processes to explore our understanding of cognitive strategy
instruction and of writing summaries.
The transformation processes of selecting relevant information and
connecting prior knowledge to new information are also reflected in the
processes of making concept maps. When constructing a concept map, one first
identifies the topic and subtopics or concepts, and then one makes explicit the
relationships among the concepts. Similar processes are called upon for writing
summaries, which is a complex task that requires learners to acquire information
and to transform that information. Let us now consider how concept maps fit into
those strategies to support summarizing texts.
Concept maps
Concept maps are one of many forms of visual organizers. The most
general definition of visual organizers is that they are graphic representations of
different kinds of thinking processes, for example, inductive and deductive
reasoning (Clarke, 1991). From that broad baseline definition, we can find
examples of ever-increasing complexity: from informal bubble diagrams to
elaborately prescriptive heuristics for problem solving.
Concept maps are used both as teaching tools and as learning tools. Clarke
(1991) pointed out that visual organizers can be used to focus learners attention
on the thinking process, to provide a social context in which to share and explore
personal vision, and, in addition, to serve as assessment tools. Dunstons (1992)
review of research into the use of visual organizers in reading comprehension
yielded inconclusive results; she found that use of visual organizers seems to be
more successful when lengthy training is provided, when they are constructed by
students, when they are used by more capable students, and when they are used
with descriptive texts.
13


Expert or instructor -constructed maps can serve as teaching aids in a
variety of situations, to communicate an experts understanding or to organize
information for learners (for example, the structured overviews used by Barron
and Schwartz, 1984, to teach terminology). Concept maps have been proposed
as ways to assess learning (Rafferty & Fleschner, 1993) and as developmental
tools (Edmondson, 1993).
Learner-constructed concept maps allow learners to organize their own
understanding. Some studies involving learner-constructed concept maps indicate
that learners who used maps performed better on comprehension tests and had
lower scores on anxiety measures (Dunston, 1992; Jonassen, Beissner, and
Yacci, 1993).
Proponents of the use of concept maps, like those of other visual
organizers, draw heavily on the work of Ausubel (1963) whose theory of
meaningful learning emphasizes relating new information to previously learned
knowledge through clear, stable organization of the cognitive structure. To obtain
that clear, stable organization, most definitions of concept maps include the idea
of hierarchical arrangement and insist on labeled links between concepts (e.g..
Jonassen, Beissner, & Yacci, 1993; Novak & Gowin, 1984; Rafferty &
Fleschner, 1993). Labeling the links makes explicit the relationships among
ideas. While some mapping techniques require specific coding for particular
relationships (for example, the networking strategy developed by Holley &
Dansereau, 1984a). most permit constructors to label links as they wish. Another
distinguishing characteristic of concept maps is the flexibility to establish
relationships not only between topics and subtopics but also among concepts of
equal rank.
For this study the following definition will be used:
Concept maps are graphic representations of multiple
relationships among ideas. Ideas, or concepts, are represented as
nodes displayed in a hierarchy, and the relationships between
nodes are represented as labeled links.
14


To make a concept map of a text (see Figures 2.1 and 2.2), readers first
read the text, then select the main topic or idea and write it at the top of a page.
Then, they select another, secondary idea or concept and write it below the main
idea. Next, they draw a line between the two concepts and label the line with a
brief description of the relationship between the concepts. That sequence of steps
is repeated until all the important concepts are mapped and all the
interrelationships are noted and labeled. Concepts, or ideas, form the nodes of
the map, and the relationships among those ideas provide the labels for the links.
These steps require that the mappers select relevant information and omit
irrelevant details. They then connect the concepts to each other and explicitly
determine the relationships among concepts. Such activities reflect the
transformation processes in the Como and Mandinach (1983) model, selecting
relevant information, and connecting familiar knowledge to new information (see
Table 2.1). These are activities that learners may choose to perform in many
situations, including when they summarize texts.
Concept Maps to Support Summarizing Texts
Many cognitive strategies to guide summarizing texts are based on the work
of Brown and Day (1983a, 1983b). They describe a set of activities in which the
writers select relevant information, determine a structure for their summary and
write topic sentences, then condense and paraphrase text to make a concise
summary. The role of concept maps in this study was that of an organizing tactic
to allow writers to select important information and make explicit relationships
among pieces of information.
Summaries are brief statements that condense information and reflect the
gist of the discourse (Borko, Davinroy, Flory, & Hiebert, 1994; Hidi &
Anderson, 1986). Summaries and the abilities needed to produce them are of
interest for many reasons. Developmental studies show that the ability to
summarize information is an important, late-developing (college-age) study skill
(Brown, Campione, & Day, 1981; Brown & Day, 1983a, 1983b). Higher-order
comprehension problems are closely linked to understanding the gist of a passage
and the ability to summarize (Winograd, 1983). Summarizing also has generated
interest in corporate circles; information managers seek to alleviate the burden of
handling vast quantities of information and to avoid inaccuracies in and
distortions of communications (Ratteray, 1985).
15


I
Figure 2.1. Generic example of a concept map.


Using Graphical Representations as Organizational Tactics
definitig
visualization
of thinking
processes
teacher-
constructed
organization
[_&_ reasoning _
to support to support
inductive deductive
thinking thinking
teaching
aids
test .
materials
~ teaching
scan, sort, organize
to make inferences
and draw conclusions-
(Clarke, 1991)
bottom-up: time
lines, web diagrams,
pie charts, graphs,
grids, concept maps
how
examples
assessment
strategies
apply rules, test
hoW hypotheses, make
"decisions, solve
problems (Clarke,
1991)
top-down:
examples assessment continue,
force-field analyses
diagrams, flow
charts, causal chain
maps, concept maps
admini-
stration
assess-
ment
agent
learner-
constructed
brain
storming
- creating
text maps-
notes -J
how-to
1- select main topic
2- select subtopics
3-link main topic.
to subtopics
4-link subtopics
5-label links
examples
compre-
hension
memory
support
structured overviews
semantic maps
semantic feature analysis
spider maps
pattern notes
text maps
networks
schematizations
concegt_ma_ps support both lnductlv_e_& deductive_t_h[nkincj_-Clarke I9_9J
Figure 2.2. Concept map of graphical representation of organizational tactics.


Recommendations for teaching summarizing skills usually include an
emphasis on reading comprehension, increasing levels of difficulty, and a
gradual introduction to audience and genre (Brown & Day, 1983b: Hidi &
Anderson, 1986; Hill, 1991; Ratteray, 1985). Hidi and Anderson (1986) pointed
out that writing a summary of an existing text is fundamentally different from
other writing tasks. They contend that poor summaries are likely the result of
difficulties in identifying what is important in the original texts and the inability to
coordinate and integrate different parts of discourse. When producing original
text, writers plan content and structure and generate ideas and details in a pattern
of activity that continually shifts among these tasks. When writing summaries,
writers must comprehend and evaluate existing texts and condense and transform
the ideas found there (Hidi & Anderson, 1986 p. 474).
Thus, summarizing a text requires not simply comprehension skills, but the
additional skills of condensing information and transforming information within
the framework of a specific task. Successful summarizers must be sensitive to
which information is important, and they must be able to connect new
information to prior knowledge and make explicit the connections. These skills
are part of the component processes of the Como and Mandinach (1983) model
of self-regulated learning described in Table 2.1.
Within that set of activities (selecting relevant information, connecting new
information to prior knowledge, and making the connections explicit), we can
identify a role for concept maps as organizational tools. Novak and Gowin
(1984) recommended that concept mapping be used to help learners extract
meaning from difficult texts and to plan written or oral work. Flower (1981)
encouraged writers to use an issue tree (a type of concept map) to brainstorm
writing problems as well as to analyze the structure of an argument. In fact, Hill
(1991) suggested that concept maps could aid learners in differentiating between
main ideas and subordinate details, and Ruddell and Boyle (1989) found that
using concept maps helped students identify and use supporting details in essays.
Thus, we have seen that cognitive strategies, concept mapping, and writing
summaries all share an emphasis on evaluating the relevance of information and
making connections among different portions of information. That is, successful
learners use cognitive processes, as described by the model of Como and
Mandinach (1983), to acquire and transform information into knowledge by
selecting relevant information and connecting it to other information. Concept
maps make explicit relevant information and the relationships among the pieces
18


of information. In constructing a map, learners organize their own
understanding, and, in consulting a map, learners are able to see an experts
organization of material. Summarizers, on one hand, must read a text,
comprehend the information, and evaluate the importance of that information. On
the other hand, they must select important information, understand the
relationships among ideas, and transform those understandings into concise
summaries.
If, as Hidi and Anderson (1986) pointed out, poor summaries reflect
difficulties in selecting relevant information and making connections, we may
expect the summaries of comprehensively engaged writers to reflect
transformation processes. We should also expect the summaries of writers who
were engaged at a recipience-level to reflect fewer of the transformation
processes. And, we should also expect learners who are less efficient at selecting
information and making connections to use fewer transformations in their
summaries.
We may then ask whether concept maps can serve to encourage
summarizers to use the transformation processes of selecting and connecting that
are identified as part of comprehensive engagement. In particular, we may ask
whether summarizers who construct or consult concept maps to organize their
knowledge will produce summaries that reflect the processes of selecting
information and connecting that information. To explore that question, this study
investigated the following hypothesis:
In writing summaries of technical texts, participants who use
concept maps as an organizing tactic will produce summaries that
contain more transformations than participants who do not use
concept maps to organize information.
To explore the use of concept maps at a more detailed level, we may also
ask whether constructing a map is a sufficiently compelling activity to encourage
summarizers to engage themselves comprehensively, and whether simply
consulting a map is sufficiently short-circuiting to induce a recipience response.
To explore the different uses of concept maps, this study investigated the
following hypothesis:
19


!
Participants who construct maps will produce more
transformations than will participants who study a pre-constructed
map.
Summary
Cognitive strategy instruction promises rewards of improved learning skills
to students and their instructors. Research concerns have evolved from issues of
what to teach, how to teach, and how to measure. More recent concerns address
to how to provide a context of instruction that is conducive to use. One
theoretical model of how learners respond to context is the self-regulated learning
theory of Como and Mandinach (1983) who describe four forms of learner
engagement: comprehensive engagement, recipience, task focus, and resource
management.
Within those responses to the instructional situation, learners are thought to
use acquisition and transformation processes selectively. These processes include
selecting relevant information and connecting prior knowledge to new
information.
Constructing concept maps and writing summaries of technical information
also require us to select relevant information and to make connections among
pieces of information. We can ask whether using concept maps as organizing
tacdcs within cognitive strategies to read technical texts and to summarize texts
encourages learners to transform information more readily. We can also ask
whether constructing a map encourages more transformations than consulting a
map.
In the next chapter, the method used to examine these questions is
described. The participants and the design of this investigation is detailed, and
the instructional module (see Appendix A) is described.
20


CHAPTER 3
METHOD
This chapter discusses the experimental method that was used to investigate
how effective cognitive mapping was as an organizing tactic in a reading and
summarizing strategy. First, the participants and the design and, then, the
instruments used to collect information are described. Then, the scoring system
and the attempts to assure consistency in scoring are described.
Participants
Participants were undergraduate students enrolled in technical writing
classes in two urban universities. Four instructors taught eight sections of
technical writing, environmental communication, and business communication.
Participation was voluntary in the measure that consent forms gave the researcher
access to maps and summaries produced. All students were to complete the
summary exercises as part of the normal class work, whether or not their
products were included in the data collection. Written consent was given by 126
participants at the beginning of the class; 74 participants completed the exercise.
Table 3.1 lists demographic information.
Design
A quasi-experimental design was used. The independent variable was
treatment. The dependent variable was the percentage of transformations used in
the final summaries. (See Table 3.2.)
Procedures
At the beginning of the semester, all students were asked to sign a standard
consent form (Appendix C) explaining that they would be completing a
summarizing exercise during the semester. They were asked to give consent for
the researcher to use their maps and summaries.
21


Table 3.1.
Participants
Institution 1: 58 participants completed demographic survey: 106
Institution 2: 68 participants completed Learning Strategy Survey: 96
signed consent form: 126 participants completed preliminary summary: 67 completed final summary: 74
Age Groups Gender
18-20:2 31-35:20 Males: 41
21-25: 33 36+: 26 Females: 61
26-30:21 Undeclared: 24 Undeclared: 24
Major Fields Education after high school:
Engineering: 20 1 year: 3
Environmental Science: 17 2 years: 14
Fine & Liberal Arts: 15 3 years: 27
Physical & Health Sciences: 8 4 years: 20
Social Sciences: 36 5 years: 26
Undeclared: 30 Undeclared: 36
Table 3.2.
Experimental Design
Treatment 1 construct a map Sections 1, 5, and 7 Instructors 1, 3, and 4 34 participants Participant Groupings Treatment 2 consult a map Sections 2 and 4 Instructors 1 and 2 34 participants Treatment 3 no map Sections 3. 6, and 8 Instructors 1, 3, and 4 38 participants
demographic survey Learning Strategy Survey preliminary summary Instrumentation demographic survey Learning Strategy Survey preliminary summary demographic survey Learning Strategy Survey preliminary summary
instructional module (construct a map) instructional module (consult a map) instructional module (no map)
final summary final summary final summary
22


Participants also completed demographic questionnaires, a preliminary
summary, and a learning strategy inventory. Four to five weeks later, the classes
began a three-part module on summarizing technical texts. Summaries were
produced in homework assignments, except in one class which produced their
summaries in class. In general, the instructors discussed summarizing and
strategy usage in class, the participants completed the exercise, and the
instructors followed up with discussion.
After summaries were collected, they received a code number to protect
confidentiality. Then, they were scanned, or typed when necessary, and
reformatted to present a uniform appearance. The appearance of the summaries
was standardized so that the reviewers would not be distracted by difficulties in
deciphering handwritten products. Each standardized summary was spell-
checked, but no rewordings, re-punctuation, or other editing was done. The
spell-checker served as a proofreading tool so that errors introduced in the
standardizing process would be corrected. Since spelling was not an issue in the
evaluation of the summaries for this research project, correcting any student
errors would remove another distracting feature for the reviewers.
Instruments
Demographic Survey
Participants completed a short questionnaire (Appendix D) to provide
information about age group, gender, education level, major field of study,
employment, and interest in and experience with computers and the Internet.
These questions were asked so that the investigator could provide a clear picture
of the distribution of participants across the groups.
Learning Strategy Survey
A learning strategy inventory instrument was administered to provide a
description of the study skills of this entire group of participants. Because college
students bring a repertoire of learning skills and strategies with them, this
inventory of self-reported skills was to serve as a baseline measure of strategy
use.
The Learning Strategies Survey (LSS) was developed by Kardash and
Amlund (1991) to investigate what overt and covert strategies students use
spontaneously (see Appendix E). Kardash and Amlund report that test-retest
reliability ranged between r = 0.74 and r = 0.79. In the Kardash and Amlund
23


study (1991), learners responded to 48 items on a 7-point Likert scale (from 1-
never to 3-occasionally, to 5-often, to 7-always) in terms of how often they use a
particular strategy when they think, study or solve problems for a particular
class. Time for completion was not be limited. These procedures were followed
in the present study as well.
Materials
Preliminary Summary
Preliminary summaries were used to describe the distribution of the
participants in terms of propensities to use transformations in summaries. At the
beginning of the semester participants were asked to summarize a short text,
approximately 330 words (Appendix F). Students were asked to produce
summaries of 100 words.
Instructional Module
The module consisted of three workbooks containing lesson material on
summarizing and cognitive reading and organizing strategies (Appendices A and
B; Osman-Jouchoux, 1996). The three lessons were created in construct-map,
consult-map, and no-map versions. Each lesson included (a) an introduction and
instructions and (b) a text with strategy instructions and prompts. Table 3.3
describes each booklet.
In the materials used in this study, concept maps served as an organizing
tactic linking a reading strategy and a summarizing strategy in undergraduate-
level technical writing classes. (See Figure 3.1). Writing summaries in the
context of a technical writing class should provide a relevant, real-life, clearly
defined task that encourages learners to expend the necessary effort to learn to
summarize effectively (e.g., Gamer, 1990). Technical communicators routinely
summarize material, and technical writing classes give us an opportunity to
examine the uses of summaries in the workplace, their characteristics, and
techniques for producing satisfactory summaries.
The strategies used in this module were extremely broad, reading
comprehension strategies that encourage readers to skim a text to set up a
framework for understanding, to make predictions about the text, to identify their
information needs. Then, they are encouraged to identify the portions of the text
they do not understand, to make notes of problems and to return to the text to
24


Table 3.3.
SummarvPlus Booklets and Instructors Materials
Pan Instruction Examples and Activities Maps Instructors Materials
1 framing assignment and explanation; instructional text on the qualities of summaries and on strategies for reading and summarizing a text describing how learning style characteristics are used in counseling; a learning style quiz to indicate the skills students already possess instructions on mapping the text and map sheets with prompts for the map versions sample maps for the map versions; guidelines and handouts to stimulate discussion about learning styles and audience adaptation
2 review of summarizing and strategy instruction text (What is the Internet? from NASA proposal) with strategy prompts including how to use topic sentences; summarizing sheet with prompts map sheets with prompts for the map versions handout material and overhead transparencies of ways to identify and write topic sentences and of study questions; overhead transparency of a sample map for the sections that worked with maps
3 review of summarizing and strategy instruction text (Appendix G) to be summarized with prompting; summarizing sheets with prompts map sheets with prompts for the map versions study questions; overhead transparency of a sample map for the sections that worked with maps
25


Figure 3.1. Strategies and cognitive processes
26


solve those problems. The summarizing strategy encourages writers, first, to
select relevant information; then, to structure their writing by writing topic
sentences; and, finally, to condense and polish by paraphrasing and eliminated
extra words.
These strategies and the format were chosen to accommodate the curriculum
in the technical writing programs. Although authors such as Pressley and
Woloshyn (1995) advocated long-term, coordinated cognitive skill instruction to
achieve control and flexibility, the summarizing module used in this study
represented a compromise. The instruction pointedly explained why and when to
use strategies, and at least some opportunity for practice was provided. In
general, the module conforms to the guidelines provided by Pressley and
Woloshyn (1995, p. 12 and p. 62) for instructing cognitive strategies. Those
guidelines emphasize modeling and explaining, teaching when and where to use
strategies, providing practice opportunities, and encouraging reflection.
The three-part format was adopted to provide repetition and practice. The
first lesson introduced summarizing skills and strategies as related components;
that is, summarizing was described as a two-part process: reading systematically
and writing concisely, and the strategy skills were introduced as the methods to
accomplish those tasks. Participants were introduced to the reading strategy; a
text on learning styles provided an occasion to practice; the map groups practiced
either constructing a map or consulting a map, and the no-map groups were
instructed to review the text and their understanding of the text; finally, the
participants completed a learning styles inventory that provided a discussion topic
of audience preferences.
The second lesson reinforced the instruction of the first lesson and gave the
participants a text to summarize. The text defined the Internet. Participants read
the text systematically, completed organizing tactics, and summarized the text.
The instructors materials included discussion material on identifying topic
sentences.
The third lesson reiterated the first two and contained a long text to
summarize. Instructors materials accompanied each lesson to reinforce strategy
and mapping instruction. The instructors materials were designed to analyze the
audience of the summarized text.
27


Final Summary
The final summary was of a 2800-word text that introduced Internet
protocols to a technically oriented audience (Flesch Reading Ease score 50.6,
grade-level 12; Appendix F). Students were instructed to summarize the text in
approximately 200 words.
Scoring Elements
The preliminary summaries and the final summaries were scored for a series
of elements that made up the text verbatim or near-verbatim copied passages,
paraphrases, combinations of ideas across sentences or paragraphs,
condensations of list definitions, and interpretations and comments. Table 3.4
presents definitions and examples of the scoring elements. These elements and
the scoring system have been adapted from the works of Brown and Day (1983)
and Winograd (1983). These elements were chosen to correspond to cognitive
processes of selecting and connecting information, as described by Como and
Mandinach (1983).
These underlying cognitive processes are assumed to be fundamental to
understanding a text. Instruction concerning the complexities of the rhetorical
situation and the contextual demands of the task will build on these fundamental
processes. Because of the complexity of the summarizing task and the varying
instruction these groups of participants may have received, this study confined
itself to this basic level of transforming information.
For purposes of this study, only the indications of transforming information
were considered in the scoring. This decision was made because criteria for a
successful summary was specified at a very general level in the instructional
module; the instructors were free to impose their own criteria on the products of
their students. Because the instructors adapted the instructional module to their
classes, their students may have been concentrating on different aspects of
summarizing. To some, the logical progression of ideas may have been a focus;
to others, the accommodation to a non-technical audience may have been upper
most in their concerns.
28


Table 3.4.
Scoring Elements
definition example oridinal/summary
vb: verbatim or near-verbatim excerpts TCP/IP is a layered set of protocols. TCP/IP is a layered set of protocols.
pan paraphrase or rewording of ideas in the text instead of verbatim copying TCP/IP is a set of protocols developed to allow cooperating computers to share resources across a network. It was developed by a community of researchers centered around the ARPAnet. A community of researchers have developed a resource network for cooperating computers.
cond: condensation or simplification used as a strategy for a long list of definitions Thus the most important traditional" TCP/IP services are: - file transfer. The file transfer protocol (FTP) allows a user on any computer to get files from another computer,... (explanatory paragraph omitted) - remote login. The network terminal protocol (TELNET) allows a user to log in on any other computer on the network.... etc. The most important protocols are: FTP (file transfer protocol) which allows a user on any computer to get files from another computer or to send files to another computer; remote login which allows a user to log in on any other computer on the network; and, computer mail which allows you to send messages to users on other computers (E-mail).
comb: combination or collapsing of ideas across sentences or paragraphs Generally, TCP/IP applications use 4 layers:... (several lines omitted) TCP/IP is based on the catenet model". TCP/IP is a layered set of protocols that uses 4 layers and is based on the catenet model.
glob: substitution of global terms for several individual terms Instead of mass paper mailings, SBIR and STTR solicitations were distributed via the internet, SBIR electronic bulletin boards, NTTC Business Gold bulletin board and diskettes. Instead of mass paper mailings, solicitations will be distributed via the Internet and through electric devices ....
interp: interpretation and comments that bring in ideas originating outside the text Paper copies were available only by exception. As a result, NASA saved approximately $50,000 dollars through reduced printing and shipping. A second benefit of this program is the money saved (not to mention a tree or two) on the handling of paper products.
29


The element verbatim, or near-verbatim, excerpts designates those portions
of the text that are copied from the original to the summary without change. (See
Table 3.4.) We might expect to see many verbatim elements in the summaries of
writers who use a copy-delete strategy common to novices, according to Brown
and Day (1983b). In the copy-delete strategy, inexperienced writers:
read text elements sequentially,
decide for each element whether to include it or delete it, and, then
copy, more or less verbatim, the element to include.
The element paraphrase designates those portions of the text that are
rephrased, or transformed, into the writers words. (See Table 3.4) This
category is similar to Winograds (1983) category of invention in which writers
produced sentences that conveyed the meaning of a passage. Paraphrases were
considered in the present study to signal mental reworking of the original text,
that is, a transformation.
The condensation element was included in the summary scores to reflect a
common strategy of condensing a long list of definitions in this text. (See Table
3.4.) The original text defines several features provided by networking systems
in detailed paragraphs. Summarizers often retained the list structure and included
only the first few words of the definition provided.
The combination element described portions of the text that combined ideas
across sentences or paragraphs. (See Table 3.4.) This element was consistent
with Brown and Days (1983a, 1983b) observations of the writing processes of
sophisticated summarizers.
The global substitution element was included in the scoring system to
describe a wridng strategy in which a single, encompassing term is used in place
of several terms. (See Table 3.4.) Brown and Day (1983a, 1983b) observed that
writers develop macrorules that allow them to substitute a superordinate term for
a list (for example, substitute the term grain for wheat, oats, and com) or
for a group of subcomponents (for example, substitute the term Print for
Verify that your printer is on and connected, Check the options in the Page
Setup menu, Choose Print... from the File menu, and Use the buttons to
select which forms to print). These macrorules parallel the generalization rule
and the integration rule developed by Kintsch and van Dijk, 1978.
30


The interpretation and commentary element described additions to the text.
These elements included references to the rhetorical situation, added definitions
of terminology not in the original text, and value judgments on the ideas
expressed in the text. (See Table 3.4.)
These scoring elements, verbatim or near-verbatim copied passages,
paraphrases, combinations of ideas across sentences or paragraphs,
condensations of list definitions, and interpretations and comments, make up the
text of the summaries. By counting the scoring elements and determining the
percentage of transformations used, we have an indication of how much the
writer transformed the text. The following section describes the scoring system
that was used in this study.
Scoring System
Scoring these summaries may be considered as a way to describe the
expression of content. The scoring system used here was derived from that used
by Winograd (1983). Winograd examined awareness of task, ability to identify
important elements, and the ability to transform the text into its gist. He scored
summaries by identifying broad categories of transformations (combinations,
inventions, reproductions). He scored protocols in which subjects identified and
ranked the ideas presented in their summaries; then, raters were able to identify
ideas in the summaries and categorize transformations simply on the basis of
how the original information was modified to produce the summary. In this
study, ideas units or propositions in summaries were counted, and
transformations were calculated as a total of the ideas expressed.
The idea units, contained in the summaries are expressed as verbatim,
paraphrase, condensation, combination, global substitution, and/or interpretation
elements. (See Table 3.5.) Each sentence was examined to determine how many
ideas were being communicated and what scoring elements were present. The
scoring elements, defined in Table 3.4, were combined to make up a score.
Paraphrases, combinations, condensations, and global substitutions make up the
number of transformations in a summary:
# paraphrases
+ # combinations
+ # condensations
+ # global substitutions
# transformations
31


Table 3.5.
Scoring Example
10316-93
NASAs Office of Space Access and Technology is using a new electronic management system for its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer programs (STTR). verbatim
Both programs combine small businesses and Research and Development organizations. combination of two sentences in the original text
NASA used the Internet and several other internal electronic mail systems to do business with both the SBIR and STTR. paraphrase and global substitution (several other internal electronic mail systems")
Benefits included saved time, simplified proposal review process and saving in printing and shipping costs of $50,000. combination
The implementation of the electronic management system enabled NASA to provide better serve to its customers. # combination
+ 3 comb 1 vb
+ 1 par + 5 transformations
+ 1 glob 6 idea units
5 transformations
5 transformations / 6 idea units = 83% transformations
Low < 56% > High = Transformation Group
83% > 56% = High Transformation Group
32


The number of occurrences of verbatim passages, interpretations and
comments, and transformations constitute the number of idea units that make up
a summary:
# vb
+ #interp
+ # transformations
# idea units
Then, because the number of idea units that are possible vary for each
summary, the number of transformations was divided by the number of idea
units to determine the percentage of transformations:
# transformations
# idea units = % Transformations
For comparisons, the percentage of transformations was divided at the
midpoint of the range of percentages (56%) into two groups:
Low < 56% > High = Transformation Group
This broad grouping allows us to estimate whether a particular summary contains
relatively high or low percentages of transformations.
Interrater Reliability
To obtain a measure of the reliability of the scoring system, two raters
scored 15 randomly selected final summaries, approximately 20% of the total.
The total incidences of each transformation element scored, paraphrases,
combinations, condensations, and interpretations, made up the number of
transformations. A repeated measures ANOVA indicated no significant
differences in the totals assigned by the two raters (see Table 3.6).
A correlational analysis yielded a Pearson correlation coefficient = 0.8208
(p <0.0001). This high reliability indicated that only one rater was necessary for
the remainder of the summaries.
i


Table 3.6.
Analysis of variance for interrater reliability
Source SS DF MS F Sig of F
between subjects
within + residual 86.47 14 6.18
constant 472.03 1 472.03 76.43 <0.001
within subjects
within + residual 10.87 14 0.78
reviewer 1.63 1 1.63 2.10 0.169
Summary
This chapter has described the participants, the materials, and the
procedures used in this investigation. In summary, students in technical writing
classes from two urban universities used a three-part module developed to teach
summarizing. The module included cognitive strategy instruction for both
reading efficiently and summarizing. Concept maps were used as an organizing
tactic in these strategies.
The summaries that were produced after this instruction were scored for
various elements that are assumed to represent cognitive transformations:
verbatim or near-verbatim copied passages, paraphrases, combinations of ideas
across sentences or paragraphs, condensations of list definitions, and
interpretations and comments. A scoring system, adapted from that used by
Winograd (1983), used these scoring elements to describe the summaries in
terms of percentages of transformations.
The next chapter describes the results of the data analyses.
34


CHAPTER 4
RESULTS
This chapter presents the results of the data analyses. Table 4.1 summarizes
the descriptive statistics of the summary transformation percentages, and Table
4.2 summarizes distribution of cases for the transformation usage groups.
Analyses of variance were made of the summary transformation percentages; a
chi-square test of association was performed with the transformation usage
groups. An alpha level of 0.05 was used for all statistical tests.
Table 4.1
Mean, standard deviation and range of the summary transformation percentages
variable cases* mean SD range
Summary Transformation Percentages (overall) 67 0.601 0.198 0.12-1.00
Treatment 1 (construct-map) 24 0.625 0.235 0.12-1.00
Treatment 2 (consult-map) 23 0.629 0.155 0.30-0.83
Treatment 3 (no-map) 20 0.540 0.191 0.25-0.89
*From the total of 74 participants, seven cases were excluded because of missing
attribute variables, bringing the number of participants to 67.
First Hypothesis
The first hypothesis investigated stated that
in writing summaries of technical texts, participants who use
concept maps as an organizing tactic will produce summaries that
contain more transformations than participants who do not use
concept maps to organize information.
35


Table 4.2
Distribution of cases in the transformation usage groups
Transformation Usage Group
Treatment 1 (construct-map)
Treatment 2 (consult-map)
Treatment 3 (no-map)
High > 56% Low < 56%
67 cases total
16 cases 8 cases
16 7
8 12
The data that bear on this first question are the summary transformation
percentages (number of transformations divided by number of idea units) and the
transformation usage groups (above or below the midpoint of the range at 56%).
Analysis of Variance of the Summary Transformation Percentages
With the first set of data, an analysis of variance was conducted with the
summary transformation percentages as the dependent variable. The independent
variable was treatment, construct-map, consult-map, and the control groups.
(See Table 4.3.) No significant differences were found.
Table 4.3.
Analysis of variance for transformation percentages and treatments 1. 2. and 3
Source DF SS MS F ratio F prob.
between groups 2 0.1063 0.531 1.3660 0.2625
within groups 64 2.4900 0.0389
total 66 2.5963
Levene Test for Homogeneity of Variances
Statistic DF 1 DF 2 2-tail Sig
1.4000 2 64 0.254
36


The assumptions of an analysis of variance are independence of groups,
normality of the distribution of the population, and homogeneity of variance. The
independence of the groups should have been intact. Participants did not change
groups during the semester, nor do we have reason to suppose that there were
great amounts of interaction between groups. To examine the assumption of the
normality of the distribution of the population, a series of attribute variables,
collected in the demographic survey and the learning strategies inventory, were
examined, and no particular patterns were discerned. To examine the assumption
of homogeneity of variance, the Levene test for homogeneity of variances was
completed for each one-way ANOVA. In each case, no violations of that
assumption were detected.
Chi-Square Test of Association of the Transformation Usage Groups
With the second set of data, the transformation usage groups, a chi-square
test of association was performed because the data were nominal. The
transformation usage groups indicate whether a score falls above or below the
midpoint of the range of summary transformation percentages. A Pearson chi-
square test of transformation usage group high (above 56%; 40 cases) or low
(below 56%; 27 cases) and treatment (maps or control) revealed a significant
relationship between transformation usage and treatment group (Pearson x2(l,N
= 67) = 4.600, p < 0.032).
The assumptions of the chi-square test are representative, if not random,
samples, independence of groups, and frequency data. While random assignment
was not possible in this study, the attribute variables revealed no particular
patterns of distribution of the participants. The independence of groups was also
assumed since no participant was in more than one group and interaction between
groups is assumed to be minimal. The data were nominal, high or low groups,
and were not differences between means or medians.
Second Hypothesis
The second hypothesis stated that
participants who construct maps will produce more
transformations than will participants who study a pre-constructed
map.
The data that bear on this question are the summary transformation
percentages (number of transformations divided by number of idea units). To
37


investigate this hypothesis, the means of the two map-using treatment groups
were compared in an analysis of variance.
Analysis of Variance to Compare Treatments 1 and 2
The dependent variable was summary transformation percentages, and the
independent variable was treatment (Treatment 1, construct-map, and Treatment
2, consult-map). No significant differences were found. (See Table 4.4.)
Table 4.4.
Analysis of variance for transformation percentages and treatments 1 and 2
Source DF SS MS F ratio F prob.
between groups 1 0.0002 0.0002 0.0039 0.9504
within groups 45 1.7974 0.0399
total 46 1.7976
Levene Test for Homogeneity of Variances
Statistic DF 1 DF 2 2-tail Sig
0.0231 1 65 0.880
Summary
Groups using maps produced slightly more transformations in their
summaries than did the control groups. Although the analysis of the summary
transformation percentages did not reveal statistically significant differences
between the map-using groups and the control groups, the analysis of the
transformation usage groups did reveal a statistically significant relationship
between treatment and transformation usage group. The map-using groups
tended to produce more transformations.
In investigating whether there were differences between the construct-map
groups and the consult-map groups, an analysis of the summary transformation
percentages did not reveal statistically significant differences.
The next chapter discusses these results.
38


CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION
This chapter examines the results and presents some conclusions and
speculations produced by this study.
According to the first hypothesis, summarizers who constructed or
consulted concept maps to organize their understanding of a text would be
expected to produce summaries with more paraphrases, combined ideas, and
global terms than summarizers who did not use maps. While no significant
differences among treatment groups were found when transformation
percentages were examined, the cruder measure of transformation usage groups
did indicate a significant relationship between treatment and transformation usage
group. Generally speaking, those participants who were in map-using treatments
tended to fall into the high-usage group. High-usage was defined as a
transformation percentage score above 56%, the midpoint of the range.
Thus, those participants who constructed maps or who consulted maps
were more likely to produce more paraphrases, combined ideas, and global terms
than summarizers who did not use maps. If we return to Como and Mandinachs
(1983) theoretical description of self-regulated learning, we find that learners
who are comprehensively engaged are using at an optimum level acquisition
processes and transformation processes. If we assume that the map users were
operating at a high level of comprehensive engagement, then maps might be key
to encouraging learners to maximize their efforts.
However, our assessment of the response of learners to the learning context
should be tempered. According to the second hypothesis, summarizers who
constructed maps would be expected to produce summaries with more
transformations than summarizers who consulted a pre-constructed map. This
hypothesis was not supported by the results.
39


Consulting a concept map could be expected to discourage active learning,
according to Salomon (1979, 1983, 1984) who formulated the concepts of short-
circuiting instruction and amount of invested mental effort based on theories of
mindlessness and shallow processing of information. In the Como and
Mandinach model (1983), the recipience form of engagement invokes strategies
that use minimal acquisition or transformation processes. Instructional tasks such
as learning the gist of texts and instructional events such as providing diagrams
and notes are thought to encourage learners to spend less effort in processing
information. Expert-constructed concept maps used to organize knowledge could
be expected to provide learners with an opportunity to avoid transforming
information themselves.
If the pre-constructed concept maps had served as short-circuiting
instruction, then those summarizers in the consult-map treatment should have
produced fewer transformations than those in the construct-map treatment. There
is no evidence that they did so. One explanation may lie in the experimental
conditions. Another explanation may be the nature of the summarizing task. The
remainder of this chapter will explore those explanations and conclude with some
recommendations for including concept maps in instruction and for further
research.
Conditions of this Study
This study was conducted in naturalistic conditions, that is, in real
classrooms. The instructors integrated the module supplied to them as they
would any addition to the curriculum (Grabinger, 1996). They were asked to
follow the module and to use the instructional materials provided to reinforce the
printed lesson and to stimulate discussion. Because they were integrating the
lesson materials into their various sections of the classes, they could stress
different goals in their writing assignments, that is, grammar and sentence
structure may have been important to one group, and organization and paragraph
structure may have been emphasized with another.
Each of the instructors followed the module. Discussion materials were
provided to follow-up and reinforce the strategy instruction of the module. In
addition, materials in the instructors packets provided opportunities to discuss
issues such as learning styles, topic sentence identification, and audience
analysis. Each section practiced maps, in the construct-map and consult-map
groups; each section practiced writing a summary. Those first summaries were
40


collected, and the instructors provided feedback to the students. The final
summaries received grades.
While the conditions in the classrooms could jeopardize experimental
control in some situations, they are the real-world conditions in which instruction
is adapted and dispensed. In this case, the parameters of the instructors various
expectations were assumed to be an overlay of the fundamental processes
necessary to understanding a text and producing a written summary. All of the
classes were performing the same tasks: reading a text, understanding the
material, and summarizing that text. Paraphrasing, combining ideas, and
substituting global terms were considered to be artifacts of those fundamental
processes.
To qualify, if not control, some of the threats to validity, a series of
descriptive probes were used to determine the distribution of the groups of
participants. Random assignment of participants to treatment groups was not
possible. However, three instructors were assigned to more than one treatment
group. Comparisons of the sections within treatment groups and by instructor
showed no differences (with one exception which is discussed below). In
addition, the participants were asked to complete a survey about their usage of
learning strategies, and they completed a preliminary summary to gauge whether
they had predispositions to produce text elements such as paraphrases, combined
ideas, and global terms in summarizing.
In summary, the participants were homogeneous across the treatment
groups with respect to gender, education level, and reported cognitive strategy
use. No relationship was found between the attribute variables and the summary
transformation results.
The participants in this study may have exhibited reactive effects, such as
responding to the novelty of taking part in the study. All of the participants
signed a consent form at the beginning of the semester, and the instructors
discussed participation in research projects with the students. Two to four weeks
later, the classes began the summarizing module. All students in all classes
completed the module whether or not they had given consent for participation:
thus, the novelty of participation may have been attenuated since everyone
completed the module whether or not the investigator was given access to the
maps and summaries.
41


Because these classes were technical writing classes, one could expect
participants to mature in their writing skills over the course of the semester.
Thus, we could expect students to be more at ease with and more skilled at
reading and writing about technical material simply by following instruction in
the class. However, the module was scheduled for a three-week period in the
first half of the semester in all of the classes, so the beneficial effects of regular
instruction were probably at an incipient stage. When the summary
transformation percentages were examined for a relationship with instructors or
sections, no patterns were found; thus, we may assume that participants did not
react differently to any time differences during the semester.
One known difference in how the instruction was conducted may account
for the high transformation percentages in the construct-map treatment. One class
in the consult-map treatment used the module as homework; the review and
follow-up cycle included discussion and modeling the consultation of a map. The
other consult-map class completed the summaries in class, and the review and
follow-up regime was much shorter. Thus, we may speculate that the pre-
constructed maps may have been emphasized more intensively in one of the
groups and that their short-circuiting characteristics were undermined. For that
reason, the consult-map group would not produce significantly fewer
transformations than the construct-map group.
Let us now consider the task of summarizing as an explanation for the
results that indicate that participants who used maps produced more paraphrases,
combined ideas, and global terms in their summaries and that constructing maps
and consulting maps were equally effective.
The Summarizing Task
If we examine the nature of summarizing, we find that the task seems to be
particularly well-suited to systematic reading, organizing knowledge, selecting
important ideas, and reworking those ideas into a reflection of the original text.
As Hidi and Anderson (1986) noted, writing a summary of a text requires writers
to comprehend and evaluate existing texts and condense and transform the ideas
found there.
Thus, summarizing a text is a task that requires not simply comprehension
skills, but the additional skills of condensing information and transforming
information within a specific framework. Successful summarizers must be
42


sensitive to which information is important, and they must be able to connect
new information to prior knowledge and make explicit the connections.
How learners interpret their tasks, of course, should be a consideration in
how we interpret their performance. Hayes (1990) reviewed evidence that writers
who differ in age and experience may differ systematically in how they interpret
writing tasks. Some of these different interpretations result from definitions; for
example, revision means different things to different people (Faigley & Witte,
1983; Hayes, Flower, Schriver, Stratman, & Carey, 1987). Some may be due to
developmental differences in ability to interpret tasks (Bereiter & Scardamalia,
1987). Penrose (1992) found that task interpretations varied widely with type of
text and with individual differences in college students, and she pointed out the
risk we take in assuming that we understand writers interpretations or
engagement;
... students can engage in writing without much thought,
without the active involvement or critical reflection we associate
with participating or generating knowledge in a discipline, (p.
491)
If we consider the present study, on a general level, all of the participants
were working on the same task, summarizing a difficult technical text. However,
the groups of map users were provided a tactic to select important ideas and to
identify the connections among those ideas. While these activities certainly are
possible without a concept map, we can speculate that the map users had a more
explicit consciousness of those activities. They then would process the
information more deeply and were then more likely to produce artifacts of those
activities in their summaries.
We can also speculate that the mapping activity, whether constructing or
consulting, provided a link between the reading and writing strategies that led
those summarizers to define their task differently. If the mapping activities served
as a transition device between the two major goals, then participants who used
the maps might have been more likely to rely on the understanding of the text
they gained in the first part of the exercise. Participants who did not organize
their understanding thoroughly may have been more likely to separate the two
activities, returning to the text to summarize using more verbatim passages. Such
a pattern of behavior would be similar to the copy-delete summarizing strategy
proposed by Brown and Day (1983). Such behavior would also be similar to that
43


observed by Surber (1994) who asked college students to identify important
information: instead of targeting information selectively, they judged importance
on a word-by-word or sentence-by-sentence basis and marked large portions of
the text as important.
In summary, then, this study has shown that using learner-constructed
maps and expert-constructed maps as organizing tactics in cognitive strategy
instruction can be effective. Let us now address the questions of how might this
study be extended and implications for the future.
Conclusions
Implications for Extending This Study
Different Population
The population of this study consisted of college students. These are
successful learners who bring with them an assortment of learning skills
(Dansereau, 1985). To more clearly differentiate between the cognitive strategies
that were taught in this study and those the participants brought with them, this
study could be conducted with participants who were much less experienced.
Very young learners who do not yet have firmly established learning habits
would be a target population. Additionally, adult learners who are not traditional
college students or experienced learners should also be considered as a
population for this kind of study.
In more diverse populations, study skills and cognitive strategy use might
prove to be useful independent variables. Measures of academic competence,
such as grade point averages, might also prove useful.
Different Instructional Contexts
Cognitive strategy instruction has been found to be most successful when it
takes place over a long period of time in an integrated manner (Pressley &
Woloshyn, 1995). A more extensive course of cognitive strategy instruction
could yield clearer differences between groups that constructed maps or
consulted maps. Additionally, longer-term strategy instruction should encourage
transfer of skills, and the tactic of using concept maps could serve as a means to
encourage transfer.
44


Other Questions
This study does encourage us to pursue cognitive strategy instruction. In
reading and summarizing strategies, we have indications that using cognitive
maps as an organizing tactic can be useful. However, this study does open other
questions to investigate, including:
whether concept mapping is effective because it encourages deeper
processing and better understanding of texts or because it provides a
mechanism to focus the task definition;
how to design instruction so that variations in task definition
interpretations are minimized; and
how to use pre-constructed maps reliably in ways that do not short-circuit
instruction.
Each of these areas of investigation could be profitably examined. For
example, text comprehension could be tested to indicate whether the
comprehension of map users differed from learners who did not use maps. Or,
learners could focus on different summarizing tasks to determine whether using
maps affected their interpretations. Possible sets of tasks could be categorized by
Stichts (1985) framework of reading-to-leam and reading-to-do.
This study also reminds us that good instruction of cognitive strategies
requires a conducive context. Let us now consider the implications for
instruction.
Implications for Instruction
As Pressley and Woloshyn (1995) emphasized, practitioners who teach
cognitive strategies should follow a number of steps. They should make explicit
why and when to use these strategies and tactics. They should be prepared to
model and explain how to use these strategies, and they should point out
opportunities for learners to extend these skills to other content areas. They
should provide opportunities to practice and feedback to encourage usage. As
Gamer (1990) pointed out, learners should see practical applications for their
learning, and they should be made aware of the goal of the strategies. In
addition, she noted that evaluations and rewards should match the skills being
45


taught; that is, for example, timed recall tests do not encourage learners to
demonstrate skills, but to provide information.
Using learner-constructed concept maps can be an effective organizing tactic
in cognitive strategy instruction. Constructing maps is an easily learned skill,
although, as Jonassen, Beissner, and Yacci (1993) noted, construction and
revision can be time-consuming and maps may be difficult to interpret.
Instructional designers should consider incorporating learner-constructed concept
maps in support of instructional tasks that require integration of concepts and
organization of knowledge. Learner-constructed concept maps could be used as
tactics in the category of detached content-dependent strategies as defined by
Osman and Hannafin (1992). As examples, concept maps could be used as
outlining techniques, or concept maps could serve as communication vehicles for
learners to organize and share their understanding with others.
Using expert-constructed concept maps can also be effective, as this study
indicates. Such concept maps may serve as either pre- or post-instructional
organizers to be used either as group discussion guides or as individual study
and review guides. Instructional designers should consider incorporating pre-
constructed concept maps in support of instructional tasks that require the
acquisition and organization of specific content material. Expert-constructed
concept maps could be used as tactics in the category of embedded content-
dependent strategies as defined by Osman and Hannafin (1992). As an example,
expert-constructed concept maps can be used as structured overviews or as self-
checking tactics for learners to gauge their progress.
In this study, summarizing was one of the goals of instruction. This skill,
as taught in the technical writing classroom, is required in the workplace. Let us
consider the implications for technical communication.
Implications for Technical Communicators
In the workplace, technical communicators are called upon to summarize
texts in a variety of situations: condensing subject matter experts writings,
restating portions of development documents, abstracting information for
databases, writing executive summaries, etc. In these cases, writers must read
efficiently, selecting relevant portions of the text and making connections among
the information. They then must organize and structure the relevant information
in a concise form that remains faithful to the tone and scope of the original text.
46


The cognitive strategies and the mapping tactics used in this study can serve
as a basis for teaching technical communicators how to summarize for a variety
of purposes and audiences. Such instruction should be integrated into an entire
course, and the mapping tactic should be used in a variety of situations to provide
practice and to encourage transfer. The practical appeal of such instruction rests
in the goals of reading efficiently and effectively and of communicating ones
understanding of a text in a concise, relevant form.
Summary
This study has produced encouraging results for those who wish to use
concept maps as organizing tactics in cognitive strategies for reading and
summarizing technical texts. Two questions were examined: one, would
participants who used maps write summaries that contain more paraphrases,
combined ideas, and global terms than summarizers who did not use maps, and,
two, would those who constructed maps produce more transformations in their
summaries than those who consulted maps?
The results indicate that those who used maps tended to write summaries
with more transformations that the control group did. No statistically significant
differences were found between participants who constructed maps and those
who consulted maps. This result may be due in part to the population of skilled
learners who comprised the participants of this study, or it may be due to the map
serving to clarify the task definition.
Researchers and practitioners can continue to ask many questions about
how best to teach cognitive strategies and which tactics are effective. We can also
continue to investigate how to provide learning contexts and instructional
situations that promote cognitive strategy use and transfer of those skills.
47


APPENDIX A: SUMMARYPLUS DESIGN DOCUMENTATION


APPENDIX A: SUMMARYPLUS DESIGN DOCUMENTATION...........48
SUMMARYPLUS MODULE: ANALYSIS OF LEARNERS AND
CONTEXTS...........................................50
Need for Instruction...............................50
Purpose of Instruction.............................50
Target Group.......................................50
SUMMARYPLUS MODULE: INSTRUCTIONAL GOALS................51
SUMMARYPLUS MODULE: ANALYSIS OF INSTRUCTIONAL
GOALS..............................................52
Reading............................................52
Organizing (making a concept map)..................53
Writing............................................53
SUMMARYPLUS MODULE: PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVES.............54
Reading............................................54
Organizing (making a concept map)..................55
Writing............................................56
SUMMARYPLUS MODULE:....................................57
SUMMARYPLUS MODULE: FORMATIVE EVALUATION...............58
Types of information sought........................58
Results............................................59
Conclusions........................................60
49


SummaryPlus Module:
Analysis of Learners and Contexts
Need for Instruction
During the first semester I taught English 3154: Technical Writing, I asked
the students to write summaries of articles from a general-audience science
magazine. The topics ranged from the history of hybrids to the development of
the chi square test. All were of equal difficulty and should have been easily read
by college students. Two-thirds of the summaries were passing; none were
excellent or good; a third ranged from poor to incomprehensible.
Since that time, I have refined what has become the summary exercise, and
I have learned that the difficulties my students have with this type of exercise are
not uncommon. The writing research literature indicates that summarizing is a
rarely taught but often expected skill.
The textbook being used for the class by all of the instructors is
Anderson, P. V. (1995). Technical writing: A reader-centered
approach. Third edition. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace.
Andersons text briefly addresses executive summaries that serve to
introduce documents and provide an overview of content. No mention is made
of other types of summaries.
Purpose of Instruction
The module addresses two problems in managing technical information: (1)
reading and understanding and (2) summarizing for an audience. The goals of
the three-part module are:
When reading a technical text, students will use a systematic
metacognitive strategy to guide their reading and understanding.
When summarizing a technical text, students will produce summaries
that are concise and faithful and that transform the original structure.
Target Group
The students enrolled in English 3154 come from a variety of fields; this is a
class that satisfies core requirements. Most of the students are sophomores and
juniors. In Spring 1966 in section 001, majors are distributed as:
50


Physical Engineering Behavioral Liberal
Science Science Arts
Biology (5) Engineering (I) Psychology (5) English (4)
Geology (1) Business (1) Communication (1) Education (1) Sociology (1) Economics (1) Political Science (1) Philosophy (1)
In general, these students have a good-to-very-good command of the
mechanics of writing (spelling, grammar, punctuation) and of structuring their
writing (paragraphs). In the past, other sections of this class have been less
skillful.
None of the present students had been exposed to explicit instruction in
metacognitive strategies. Some of them had used a mapping technique for
brainstorming activities. None of them had received instruction on writing
summaries.
SummaryPlus Module:
Instructional Goals
When learners complete this module, they will be able to:
1. read technical texts systematically
setting goals
making predictions
monitoring progress
noting gaps
51


2. organize knowledge graphically with concept maps
selecting main ideas
elaborating main ideas with subconcepts
arranging main ideas and subsidiary ideas hierarchically on paper
connecting ideas with labeled links
3. write summaries of technical texts
selecting relevant from irrelevant information
eliminating redundant information
restructuring information across paragraphs
providing transitions between ideas
eliminating extra words by paraphrasing and combining ideas
SummaryPlus Module:
Analysis of Instructional Goals
Reading
Evaluate the task
Determine the level of desired understanding
gist, remember specific facts, detailed understanding of concepts
Examine the structure of the text
headings, subheadings, topic sentences, cues
Establish a plan to meet the reading goal
predict what information will be gained
Monitor progress
Make notes of information not understood
Look up unknown words
Return to difficult passages
52


Organizing (making a concept map)
Select important ideas
Identify main concept
Identify subconcepts
Write the main idea at the top of a page
Arrange the subconcepts below the main idea
Establish relationships
Draw lines from the main concept to the subconcepts
Label the relationship between the main concept and the subconcepts
Flesh out the map
Identify ideas associated with subconcepts
Arrange these ideas below the appropriate subconcepts
Draw lines from the subconcepts to the ideas
Label the relationships between the concepts
Identify other relationships among concepts
Draw lines between related concepts
Label the relationships
Writing
Develop a plan
Determine the purpose of the summary
Consider the audiences needs for information
Select information to be included
Choose topic sentences from the text for each major section of the
summary or
Write topic sentences for each major section of the summary
53


Transform
Combine ideas across paragraphs
Paraphrase ideas
Delete unimportant or redundant information
Substitute global terms for lists
Evaluate/Revise
Match audience concerns with information presented, revise as
necessary
Check that the information is complete, revise as necessary
Check that grammar, spelling, and other mechanics are correct, revise
as necessary
SummaryPlus Module:
Performance Objectives
Reading
Evaluate the task
Given a formatted technical text with embedded strategy instruction to
summarize, before reading learners will identify their desired level of
understanding by noting in the margins whether they wish to:
understand the gist
remember specific facts
thoroughly understand concepts
Given a formatted technical text with embedded strategy instruction to
summarize, learners will to examine the structure of the text by marking
headings, subheadings, topic sentences, and cues.
Monitor Progress
Given a formatted technical text with embedded strategy instruction to
summarize, learners will use predict what information will be gained by
reading the text by making notes in the margin.
54


Given a formatted technical text with embedded strategy instruction to
summarize, learners will monitor their reading progress by making notes of
information they do not immediately understand.
Given a formatted technical text with embedded strategy instruction to
summarize, learners will monitor their reading progress by looking up
unknown words.
Given a formatted technical text with embedded strategy instruction to
summarize, learners will monitor their reading progress by returning to re-
read difficult passages.
Organizing (making a concept map)
Select important ideas
Given a formatted technical text with embedded strategy instruction to
summarize, learners will organize the knowledge gained from reading by.
Identifying main concept
Identifying subconcepts
Writing the main idea at the top of a page
Arranging the subconcepts below the main idea
Establish relationships
Given a formatted technical text with embedded strategy instruction to
summarize, learners will graphically depict the relationships among concepts
by:
Drawing lines from the main concept to the subconcepts
Labeling the relationship between the main concept and the subconcepts
55


Flesh out the map
Given a formatted technical text with embedded strategy instruction to
summarize, learners will complete their graphic depiction of the relationships
among concepts by:
Identifying ideas associated with subconcepts
Arranging these ideas below the appropriate subconcepts
Drawing lines from the subconcepts to the ideas
Labeling the relationships between the concepts
Identifying other relationships among concepts
Drawing lines between related concepts
Labeling the relationships
Writing
Develop a plan
Given a formatted technical text with embedded strategy instruction to
summarize, learners will plan their summary by:
Determining the purpose of the summary
Considering the audiences needs for information
Select information
Given a formatted technical text with embedded strategy instruction to
summarize, learners will select information to be included by:
Choosing topic sentences from the text for each major section of the
summary that suits their purpose or
Writing topic sentences for each major section of the summary
56


Transform information
Given a formatted technical text with embedded strategy instruction to
summarize, learners will transform information to be included by:
Combining ideas across paragraphs
Paraphrasing ideas
Deleting unimportant or redundant information
Substituting global terms for lists
Evaluate/Revise
Given a formatted technical text with embedded strategy instruction to
summarize, learners will evaluate their summary by:
Matching audience concerns with information presented and revising as
necessary
Checking that the information is complete and revising as necessary
Checking that grammar, spelling, and other mechanics are correct and
revising as necessary
SummaryPlus Module:
The three-part module discusses what summaries are, how to read texts to
produce good summaries, and how to write summaries of technical material.
Learners will complete three cognitive maps of texts and two summaries.
A companion instructors manual will provide suggestions and
supplemental materials, including the checklists for learning preferences, VuGraf
masters (reading strategy overview, how to recognize topic sentences, examples
of combining and transforming)
57


SummaryPlus Module:
Formative Evaluation
A preliminary version of the summarizing module was tested informally
during Spring 1996. The three modules were administered to the present 3154
students over three days. Students were given 45 minutes the first two days to
read through the modules, draw the maps, and write one summary. For the third
module, they took the module home with them and returned a map and summary
at the next class period for credit.
Accompanying instruction on the first day included an introduction to
metacognitive strategies and an overview of the process they would be following
in the three modules. Students also completed a questionnaire about learning
styles. Checklists were provided for each type of learner, and a checklist for
audience awareness was discussed based on learning styles.
On the second day, I tallied up the types of learners in the room and again
briefly touched on techniques they could use to enhance their learning skills and
techniques they could use to ensure that their readers would learn easily.
On the third day, I handed back their second-module summaries and maps.
Then, as a group, we mapped that text again in two ways. I emphasized the
importance of labeling links and related the linkages to sentence-to-sentence and
paragraph-to-paragraph transitions. They took the module home and returned
maps and summaries at the next class period.
Types of information sought
Implementability: I particularly wanted to see if the students could and
would complete this sequence of tasks.
Technical quality: I hoped to debug the text and be able to make it more
clear.
Content quality: Since I was using real texts, I wanted to verify that they
were readable and, more importantly, summarizable.
Learning effectiveness: I provided a minimum of instruction to see whether
I would need to add additional information, practice, feedback.
58


Results
Implementability: This particular format worked in this class. However, I
could not expect any other teacher to give up so much class time; I hesitated to do
so myself. I will have to consider making the entire production portion of the
module a take-home exercise.
Technical quality: I found a few typos, but no feedback was given about
the technical quality of the modules.
Content quality: The first module asked the learners to read a short text on
learning styles and construct a cognitive map of the text. They then completed a
short instrument that indicates learning styles preferred. My impressions were
that the self-reporting instrument was of interest to them, and three students
talked to me after class and in journal articles about the interest of this article to
them.
The second module asked learners to read a short text on TCP/IP, map the
text, and write a summary of it. This particular text is fairly accessible, with little
jargon. The class had already been using e-mail for several weeks, and we had
done an introductory session on using the Internet to find information. The
following session, the class as a group mapped the text on the board with two
variations on how it could be arranged.
The third module asked learners to read at home a much longer text on
Internet protocols, map the text, and write a summary of it. Fifty points were
awarded for completion of this assignment. After completion of the assignment,
we discussed in class the difficulty of the text; there were two camps: the techies
who thought it was very clear and the non-techies who were irritated by the
jargon. This dichotomy proved to be a good model for the guidelines about
structuring writing for your readers. Two students told me that they enjoyed
reading these kinds of texts and that they were surprised to find this kind of
material in a classroom situation. Possibly, I havent been challenging them
enough?
Learning effectiveness: The maps constructed were fairly straight-laced.
Some of the students initially were reluctant to label the links, and I reinforced
labeling by paralleling the links and transitions between sentences and
paragraphs. The short summaries were clear and coherent.
The following major assignment (worth 100 points) is to summarize a text
on an environmental issue for a very general public. This semester I used a text
59


I
from the WorldWatch Institute on climate change. This is a difficult assignment,
and the results are usually discouraging. This semester, performance over all
was much better. Again, this is a subjective evaluation on my part.
Conclusions
The module as it was tested worked fairly well. It is extremely time-
intensive as is, and, for other teachers to accept it, I will have to make it less
burdensome. The most likely way to accomplish this goal will be to provide for
a take-home scenario so that class time is not taken up with reading the text,
drawing maps, and drafting summaries.
An instructors manual should be produced that will support both the
metacognitive instruction that is taking place, but also the texts that are being
read.
60


APPENDIX B: SUMMARYPLUS INSTRUCTIONAL MODULE
(excerpts)


SummaryPlus
Part 1 Construct-Map Version
SummaryPlus
This pamphlet is the first of a three-part unit on writing summaries. Summarizing
information is a common activity, both in the classroom and in the workplace.
This unit will help you write accurate, effective summaries.
Summarizing is a two-part process
We can think of the entire process in two parts: first, reading and understanding a
text and, then, transforming our understanding to write a concise version of the
text. Too often, we read a text by beginning at the beginning and reading until the
end. Then, we write a summary by reading each sentence, deciding if we should
include it, copying it down, and proceeding to the next sentence. Sometimes
these strategies seem to work; the text we read is organized in a sequence, and
we do not need to understand it thoroughly; the summary we write is sequential
and makes sense, and we manage to choose the right parts to copy.
More efficient, effective strategies lead us to examine a text before reading, to
think about how much and how well we want to understand the material, to keep
checking to verify that we do understand as well and as much as we want, and
then to organize our information and to write a coherent summary that puts ideas
together in a concise, informative way.
This unit is organized in three parts
In Part 1, you will read a short text on learning styles and make an organizational
map of the text. Then, you will complete a learning style inventory that will give
you an indication of how you prefer to leam.
At the end of Part 1, you will be able to plan your reading
read the material in a systematic way.
In Part 2, you will again read a short text and make an organizational map. You
will then write a short summary.
At the end of Part 2, you will be able to identify important
ideas in a text and write a concise, coherent summary of
those ideas.
In Part 3, you will again go through the entire process; reading a text, making a
map, and writing a summary.
62


At the end of Part 3, you will be able to use all of the skills
of reading a text purposefully, of organizing the ideas on a
map, and of writing a concise, coherent summary.
What are summaries and why write them?
Writing summaries is a familiar task. Students are expected to read and produce
condensed versions of texts to show that they have understood the material.
Occasionally, they are advised to summarize texts as a study strategy.
In the workplace, technical writers and others need to produce various forms of
condensed information for a variety of purposes. Often one of the first tasks for
new employees is to read up on recent developments and write summaries of the
texts. Scientific articles are usually published with a short abstract, and abstracts,
themselves, are published as independent items. Some professions organize
literature in digests and synopses, such as legal digests and Chemical Abstracts.
Writing in the workplace often requires us to summarize material to explain or
communicate the ideas to an audience. Summaries of research and other material
are incorporated into informational documents. In addition, technical documents
are commonly introduced with summaries that provide overviews of the
information being presented. In these applications, the length of the summary is
variable unless you are given particular specifications, you can use 15% of the
original length of short- to medium-length documents (up to 30 pages) and much
less for longer documents.
How should we write summaries?
Summary writing is a two-part process, first we must read and understand a text.
Then, we must rework our understanding in light of our readers needs and
produce a written version.
Reading Purposefully
The first part, reading and understanding a text, can be done efficiently by
considering why you are reading. If you are looking for information of a general
nature, you may simply want to remember the gist of a passage. If you need
specific facts, you will skim the text and memorize the portions of interest to
you. If you will need to explain the ideas to someone else, however, you will
read the text carefully and work harder to understand it.
To read efficiently:
before you read,
look for the authors framework. Headings and subheadings, topic
sentences, cues (such as: first, next, more importantly, arrows,
underlining, italics) all reveal the structure of the text.
63


as you read
if you dont understand something, make a note. At the end of each
passage or section, check to see if you have understood what you have
read. Look up words, or check other resources, as you need.
when you have finished
review the important ideas.
To do that, make a map of the text. Choose the most general idea or topic in
the text. Write that idea at the top of the page. Then, write down the ideas
that modify or explain that topic. Be sure to label the connections between
the main ideas and the secondary ideas. Look for as many other
connections or links as you can think of between the ideas. These labels
will guide you when you write your summary. For example.
64


Practice the first part of the process.
On the following pages is a text about learning styles. Use the note column to
follow the process outlined above and to take notes. Then, map the structure of
the text as though you were going to complete a summary.
Do not write a summary of the text. Instead, complete the learning styles
inventory. This inventory is an instrument similar to those you will read about in
the text below.
Context and Task
Imagine that you are a member of a work group charged with developing
procedures for writing audience analyses. You are asked to provide the group
with information about learning styles. Read the text as though you intended to
write a summary for your group. You will not be tested on the material, but you
will need to be familiar with the terms and be able to explain the ideas to your
work group.
text omitted
Draw a map of the text
Now, complete the final step of reading efficiently by mapping the text. Draw a
map of the main ideas of the text you just read. Consult the text and your notes.
Start by writing the main idea or topic at the top of your map.
Then, identify subtopics and write them down.
Connect the main topic and the subtopics with labeled lines. Be sure to label all
the linking lines. Many relationships are possible, and the relationships between
ideas will be important to communicate to any audience. Those relationships will
be more easily remembered if you have written them down.
As an example, consider the map below.
65




Name
Date
Organizing Map
Start by writing the i
main idea or topic at the
top of your map.
Then, identify
subtopics and write
them down.
Connect the main topic
and the subtopics with
labeled lines.
Be sure to label all
the linking lines.
Many relationships are
possible, and the
relationships between
ideas will be important
to communicate to any
audience. Those
relationships will be the
basis for organizing
your summary.
67


SummaryPlus
Part 2 Construct-Map Version
SummaryPlus
This pamphlet is the second of a three-part unit on writing summaries. The first
introduced a two-stage process to efficient reading of technical material and
writing summaries of that material. This part gives you practice in reading and
organizing at text and lets you write a summary of it.
Summarizing is a valuable workplace skill
Writers in the workplace summarize texts that others write to incorporate into
their documents and to communicate those ideas to their readers. They also write
summaries of the key points in their own documents to provide an overview for
their readers. Deadline pressures require professional writers to produce high-
quality documents quickly. They must plan and research effectively, read and
understand efficiently, and write quickly and to the point.
This unit is organized in three parts
Part 1 introduced summarizing as a two-step process of, first, reading and
understanding a technical text and, then, organizing and condensing information
into a concise, written form. You were able to practice reading a text and
mapping the information. Finally, you completed a learning-style inventory to
give you insight into how such instruments describe learning preferences.
Part 2 reviews the two-step process and lets you complete the steps. A text is
included to allow you to practice the reading and organizing process, and you
will be able to write a summary of the text.
At the end of Part 2, you will be able to identify important ideas in a text
and write a concise, coherent summary of those ideas.
Part 3 provides an opportunity to practice the entire two-step process: reading a
text and writing a summary.
At the end of Part 3, you will be able to use all of the skills of reading a text
purposefully and of writing a concise, coherent summary.
Writing summaries starts with reading
Summary writing is a two-part process. First, we must read and understand a
text. Then, we must rework our understanding in light of our readers needs to
produce a written version.
68


The first part, reading and understanding a text, can be done efficiently by
considering why you are reading. If you are looking for information of a general
nature, you may simply want to remember the gist of a passage. If you need
specific facts, you will skim the text and memorize the portions of interest to
you. If you will need to explain the ideas to someone else, however, you will
read it carefully and work harder to understand it.
Review the steps for efficient reading:
before you read,
look for the authors framework in headings and subheadings, topic
sentences, cues (such as: first, next, more importantly, arrows,
underlining, italics).
as you read
if you dont understand something, make a note. At the end of each
passage or section, ask yourself if you have understood what you have
read. Look up words or other resources.
when you have finished
review the main ideas. Map the important ideas and label the relationships
between them. Labeling the relationships makes your organization explicit
and easier to translate into writing. For example,
69


Writing a good summary may mean breaking old habits
Weaker writers and younger students usually begin writing their summaries
using a copy-delete strategy: they read a sentence of the text; if they decide that
sentence should be included in their summary, they copy it, usually word for
word; then, they proceed to the next sentence, which they may delete, and so on.
Sometimes the copy-delete strategy seems to work. If the original text presents
information sequentially and if the copy-delete writers chose the right bits, the
summary may fulfill its purpose to present a concise faithful version of the
original. However, these writers cannot always rely on texts being sequential nor
on haphazardly picking sentences to copy.
By reading the original text with a purpose in mind, as you did when you read
the learning styles text, you have an organized plan to begin writing your
summary. You have a map of the text that identifies the important ideas and the
relationships among those ideas. Building on that beginning, you can then
summarize the text by following these steps:
choose the main ideas that will be of interest to your readers; combine ideas
from several paragraphs, if you can consolidate ideas.
for each major, logical portion of your summary, write a topic sentence that
sums up the meaning of that portion. Think of the topic sentence as a
bumper-sticker version of the paragraph.
add important details, condensing and paraphrasing as necessary
use a single, global term to group several items: grain for com, oats,
and wheat
eliminate unnecessary phrases and wordy constructions: due to the fact
that, prove conclusively, there is, there are
turn phrases and clauses into adjectives and adverbs: all applicants who
are interested to all interested applicants, the entrance to the mine shaft
to the mine entrance
use active verbs rather than passive: The figures were checked by the
research department to The research department checked the figures
Now, practice the entire process
On the following pages is a text about the Internet. Use the note column to follow
the process outlined above and to take notes, as you did when you read the
learning styles text in Part 1 of this module.
70


Then, map the structure of the text on the map page. Be sure to label the linking
lines so that the relationships among the ideas are clear to you.
Finally, use the draft pages to write a summary of the text. Consult your map and
the text as you draft your summary. Your final draft should be legible, but do
not be overly concerned with changes, misspellings, and so forth. Your
summary will not be graded, but both the summary and the map will be
collected.
Task & Context
You are a technical writer, employed by SatDatCo, a company that collects and
manages archival databases of satellite images and data. They furnish maps
produced from these data to private customers. Their products range from
custom-produced maps printed on paper to aerial and satellite photographs. They
have plans to produce CD-ROM archival collections.
The director of database services at SatDatCo has received a Call for Proposals
from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The president of the
company and the technical directors are interested in submitting a proposal to set
up and manage a Remote Sensing Public Access Center that will demonstrate,
test, and facilitate the development of innovative applications of US Earth and
space science remote sensing databases via computer networks and of the
technology required to realize those applications (from the call for proposals).
The proposal itself will be a major effort for nearly every department of the
company. If they are successful in establishing this Access Center at SatDatCo,
every employee will be affected. Some of the personnel are familiar with the
technology and concepts involved in this proposal; others are not.
The managerial team realizes that, to be successful, they must have an informed
work force, and they decide to prepare a series of seminars for the employees.
These seminars will be attended by the sales staff, the clerical staff, the
technicians, and the management teams of each department. As part of the
technical writing team, you are assigned to research background information to
be distributed to the people attending the seminars.
Write a 200-word summary of the text explaining what the Internet is. Your
audience may be completely unfamiliar with this topic. The audience includes
males and females, aged 18 to 57 (median age 31). They range in educational
background from high-school graduates to those holding MBA degrees. Their
job descriptions include nearly every position in the company (photographic
laboratory intern, graphic artist, documentation specialist, technical writer,
secretary, shipping clerk, computer programmer, database manager, personnel
manager, sales director, etc.).
text omitted
71


Organize to write
Now, complete the final step of reading efficiendy by mapping the text. Draw a
map below of the main ideas of the text you just read. Consult the text and your
notes.
72


Start by writing the main
idea or topic at the top of
your map.
Then, identify subtopics
and write them down.
Connect the main topic
and the subtopics with
labeled lines.
Be sure to label all
the linking lines.
Many relationships are
possible, and the
relationships between
ideas will be important to
communicate to any
audience. Those
relationships will be the
basis for organizing your
summary.
73


Write the summary
A good summary of this type will be a restatement of the major points in
language that will be acceptable to your audience. Make your summary concise,
but do not resort to a telegraphic style (that is. do not leave out articles a, an,
the or transitional words and phrases however, therefore, for example,
etc.). Do not add opinions or comments.
Consult the text and
your map
Drafting Space:
Select the ideas to be
included.
Combine ideas from several
paragraphs, if appropriate.
For each paragraph or section,
write a single sentence that
sums up the meaning a
bumper sticker version.
Use transitions to make the
passage from section to
section easier (that is, explain
the relationships).
Add important details
Re-read your summary.
Does it answer your
audiences questions?
What will they know when they
have read your summary?
Polish.
Global terms for several items?
Active verbs?
Simplified constructions?
Repetition eliminated?
74


SummaryPlus
Part 3 Construct-Map Version
Summarizing Plus
This pamphlet is the third of a three-part unit on writing summaries. The first
introduced a two-stage process to efficient reading of technical material and
writing summaries of that material. The second part provided an opportunity to
practice the efficient reading technique and introduced the second stage for
writing a summary. This final part will provide an opportunity to use the two-
stage process in its entirety.
The following pages contain an article that is to be summarized. You will be able
to earn points for the satisfactory completion of:
a concept map that identifies the main point and clearly labels
the relationships among the secondary ideas
a summary of the article that is concise, faithful (do not add
your opinions or comments), grammatically correct,
and 200 words long
In order to write a faithful, accurate summary of a text, first, we must read and
understand the text. Then, we must rework our understanding in light of our
readers needs to produce a written version.
The first part, reading and understanding a text efficiently, begins by considering
why you are reading. If you are looking for information of a general nature, you
may simply want to remember the gist of a passage. If you need specific facts,
you will skim the text and memorize the portions of interest to you. If you will
need to explain the ideas to someone else, however, you will read it carefully and
work harder to understand it.
Review the steps for efficient reading
before you read,
look for the authors framework in headings and subheadings, topic
sentences, cues (such as: first, next, more importantly, arrows,
underlining, italics).
as you read
if you dont understand something, make a note. At the end of each
passage or section, ask yourself if you have understood what you have
read. Look up words or other information.
when you have finished
map the important ideas and label the relationships between them. Labeling
75


the relationships makes your organization explicit and easier to translate
into writing. For example,
Writing the summary begins with organizing
By reading the original text with a purpose in mind, as you did when you read
the learning styles text, you have an organized plan to begin writing your
summary. Building on that beginning, you can then summarize the text by
following these steps:
choose the main ideas that will be of interest to your readers; combine ideas
from several paragraphs, if you can consolidate them.
for each major, logical portion of your summary, write a
topic sentence that sums up the meaning of that portion a
bumper-sticker version.
add important details, condensing and paraphrasing as necessary.
use a single, global term to group several items: grain for
com, oats, and wheat.
76


eliminate unnecessary phrases and wordy constructions:
due to the fact that, prove conclusively, there is, there
are.
turn phrases and clauses into adjectives and adverbs: all
applicants who are interested to all interested applicants,
the entrance to the mine shaft to the mine entrance.
use active verbs rather than passive: The figures were
checked by the research department to The research
department checked the figures.
On the following pages is a text about the Internet. It is longer, and more
technical, than the text you read in Part 2. Use the note column to follow the
process outlined above and to take notes, as you did when you read the learning
styles text in Part 1 and the shorter text defining the Internet in Part 2.
Then, map the structure of the text on the map page. Be sure to label the linking
lines so that the relationships among the ideas are clear.
Finally, write a summary of the text. Draft your summary following the
guidelines. Consult your map and the text as you draft. Your final draft should
be typed.
Task & Context
You are a technical writer, employed by SatDatCo, a company that collects and
manages archival databases of satellite images and data. They furnish maps
produced from these data to private customers. Their products range from
custom-produced maps printed on paper to aerial and satellite photographs. They
have plans to produce CD-ROM archival collections.
The director of database services at SatDatCo has received a Call for Proposals
from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The president of the
company and the technical directors are interested in submitting a proposal to set
up and manage a Remote Sensing Public Access Center that will demonstrate,
test, and facilitate the development of innovative applications of US Earth and
space science remote sensing databases via computer networks and of the
technology required to realize those applications (from the call for proposals).
The proposal itself will be a major effort for nearly every department of the
company. If they are successful in establishing this Access Center at SatDatCo.
every employee will be affected. Some of the personnel are familiar with the
77


technology and concepts involved in this proposal; others are not. The
managerial team realizes that, to be successful, they must have an informed work
force, and they decide to prepare a series of seminars for the employees. These
seminars will be attended by the sales staff, the clerical staff, the technicians, and
the management teams of each department. As part of the technical writing team,
you are assigned to research background information to be distributed to the
people attending the seminars.
Write a 200-word summary of the text explaining what the Internet is. Your
audience may be completely unfamiliar with this topic. The audience includes
males and females, aged 18 to 57 (median age 31). They range in educational
background from high-school graduates to those holding MBA degrees. Their
job descriptions include nearly every position in the company (photographic
laboratory intern, graphic artist, documentation specialist, technical writer,
secretary, shipping clerk, computer programmer, database manager, personnel
manager, sales director, etc.).
A good summary of this type will be a restatement of the major points. Make
your summary concise, but do not resort to a telegraphic style (that is, do not
leave out articles a, an, the or transitional words and phrases however,
therefore, for example, etc.). Do not add opinions or comments.
text omitted
78


Organizing Map
Now, complete the final step of reading efficiently by mapping the text. Draw a
map below of the main ideas of the text you just read. Consult the text and your
notes.
Start by writing the main
idea or topic at the top of
your map. Then, identify
subtopics and write
them down.
Connect the main topic
and the subtopics with
labeled lines.
Be sure to label all
the linking lines.
Many relationships are I
possible, and the
relationships between j
ideas will be important to
communicate to any j
audience. Those |
relationships will be the |
basis for organizing your
summary.
79


Writing a summary
Consult the text and your map Drafting Space:
Select the ideas to be included.
Combine ideas from several paragraphs, if appropriate.
Add important details
Re-read your summary.
Does it answer your audiences questions?
What will they know when they have read your summary?
Have you explained how the parts relate to each other?
Polish.
Global terms for several items?
Active verbs?
Simplified constructions?
Repetition eliminated?
80


APPENDIX C: CONSENT FORM


CONSENT FORM
The SummaryPIus unit is part of a research project to investigate
ways to improve instruction in writing summaries. The unit is a
three-part series that has been adapted to the technical writing
classroom. You will be able to complete the exercises out of class,
and your instructor will use the materials to discuss issues such as
audience awareness and writing structure. Your instructor will
use these exercises as part of her/his instruction, and I am asking
your permission to use your summaries and maps as part of my
research project.
If you agree to participate in this project, you will be asked ahead
of time to provide some information about your level of education,
age, gender, your familiarity with computers and the Internet,
and write a short summary.
There are no known risks to participation in this study. I expect
that you will find the activity useful and the texts informative.
Your identity will be protected. Only your instructor and I will
have access to your name and the information you provide. I will
code materials, and no one except me will have the key.
You will not be penalized for participating or for not participating
in this research project.
I will be pleased to answer questions about this project at any
time, and you may contact the Office of Sponsored Programs, 720
CU Denver Building, 556-2770, with questions about your rights
as a research subject.
You will be given a copy of this consent form to keep.
I hope that you enjoy the SummaryPIus exercises and gain from
the experience. I hope that you will share your summaries and
maps with me.
Rionda Osman-Jouchoux
939-9164
rosman-j @ ouray .cudenver.edu
I agree to allow my summaries and maps to be used for academic
purposes by the investigator, including (but not limited to) such
forums as presentation at conferences and publication in scholarly
journals.
The summaries and maps may be taken from submitted materials.
I understand that my anonymity will be safeguarded in the
process.
Signature Date
82


APPENDIX D: DEMOGRAPHIC SURVEY


Fall Survey
Name:
Major _______________________________________________
Present
Employment: _________________________________________
Are you employed full-time? ______________ or part-time?
Writing classes taken:
Age: Education after high school:
under 18 under 20 _Jyr 4 yrs
under 25 under 30 2 yrs 5+yrs
under 35 over 35 3 yrs
Gender: female male
Please respond to each of the following statements and questions.
My attitude toward using computers for work and school is
Favorable_ _ _______ _________ _______ ________ ________ Unfavorable
extremely quite slightly neither slightly quite extremely
My attitude toward using the Internet for work and school is
Favorable_ _ _______ _________ _______ ________ _______ Unfavorable
extremely quite slightly neither slightly quite extremely
I use word-processing software
__Frequently _________Fairly Often __Sometimes
___Never
Which word-processing programs have you used?
84


I use spreadsheet software
__Frequently ________Fairly Often Sometimes
___Never
Which spreadsheet programs have you used?
I use graphics software
__Frequently ________Fairly Often Sometimes
___Never
Which graphics programs have you used?
I use electronic mail
__Frequently ________Fairly Often Sometimes
___Never
Have you used electronic mail to fulfill class requirements?
I use the Internet
__Frequently ________Fairly Often Sometimes
___Never
For what purposes do you use the Internet?
Match the examples in the left column with the definitions in the right column.
examples definitions
astudent@computer.school.edu a) a search engine
FTP File Transfer Protocol b) a set of rules for data exchange
http://www.cudenver.edu c) a URL Uniform Resource Locator
Netscape d) an email address
Yahoo e) an Internet browser
f) a listserv
85


APPENDIX E: LEARNING STRATEGY SURVEY QUESTIONS


Covert Cognitive Processes
1. I put together ideas or concepts and draw conclusions which are not directly
stated in course materials
2. I differentiate between similar ideas
3. I compare, contrast, or evaluate different concepts
4. I mentally combine different pieces of new information from course
materials into some new order that makes sense to me.
5. I mentally combine different pieces of information from course material
together.
6. When I read, I look for explanations for new facts that are presented
7. I organize the information I remember when I take exams.
8. While learning new concepts, practical applications come to my mind.
9. I can locate particular passages in material that I have read.
10. I plan my approach to a complex task.
11. When learning new material, I summarize it in my mind in my own words.
12. I learn new material by mentally associating new ideas with similar ideas
that I already know.
13. I remember definitions of new words and concepts.
14. I try to resolve conflicts between information obtained from different
sources.
15. I remember material that I have studied carefully when I take exams.
16. I am able to design procedures for solving problems.
17. I make sure I understand material that I memorize.
18. I formulate good guesses even when I am not sure of an answer.
Overt Processes
1. I underline main ideas as I read.
2. I write out lists of new terms and definitions.
3. I underline details as I read.
4. I put together a written overview integrating material from readings,
lectures, and all other sources on a regular basis throughout the semester.
5. I copy down details exactly as they are stated in my readings.
6. I write out examples which relate information from my readings to other
information that I already know.
7. I make simple charts and diagrams to help me remember material that I read.
8. I write summaries in my own words of all my assigned readings
9. I copy down main ideas exactly as they are stated in my readings.
Note. From Self-reported learning strategies and learning from expository text, by
C. M. Kardash and J. T. Amlund, 1991, Contemporary Educational Psychology. 16. p. 125.
Copyright 1991 by Academic Press, Inc. Adapted with permission.
87


APPENDIX F: PRELIMINARY SUMMARY


Please write a short (about 100 words) summary of this text.
Name: _________________________________________
Moving Forward: NASA Moves Toward Paperless Business
As we move into the 21st century, having access to and receiving
information is a critical component of conducting business in the private
sector. NASA's Office of Space Access and Technology has recently adopted
an electronic management system for its Small Business Innovation Research
(SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The
objective of the electronic management system is to provide a "paperless
capability that facilitates the day-to-day operations of these programs to
more efficiently manage resources.
The SBIR program was established by Congress to increase small
business participation in federal research and development (R&D) while
increasing private sector commercialization of that technology. The STTR
began in 1994 with similar objectives and the added feature of requiring a
small business to conduct cooperative R&D by partnering with a research
institution.
Many efficiencies were realized using the electronic system in the
latest solicitation round. Instead of mass paper mailings, SBIR and STTR
solicitations were distributed via the internet, SBIR electronic bulletin
boards, NTTC Business Gold bulletin board and diskettes. Paper copies were
available only by exception. As a result, NASA saved approximately
$50,000 dollars through reduced printing and shipping.
The proposal review and evaluation cycles also benefited. Using the
internet, technical reviewers had access to proposals real-time and reduced
delays to two rather than four weeks previously experienced using paper
transmittals. In addition, the internal management process was simplified
! and quicker due to the electronic transfer of evaluation forms and
recommendation reports from NASA Field Centers to Headquarters.
Access to the electronic management system via a World Wide Web
Internet interface is restricted to NASA personnel responsible for SBIR and
STTR processes.
The electronic system proved to be a more efficient way to conduct
business. As a result of some lessons learned, it will be improved for the next
round. The SBIR/STTR electronic management system is another example of
NASA's desire to be more responsive to our customers by conducting business
better, faster, cheaper.
i
i
!
For more information, please contact Barry Jacobs, NASA Goddard Space Flight
Center. E-mail: bjacobs@nssdca.gsfc.nasa.gov
Please mention that you read about it in Innovation (Innovation, Volume 3, Number 4, |
July/August 1995; Http:/ / change.hq.nasa.gov/STI/./Innovation34/Paperless.html). [
89


APPENDIX G: FINAL SUMMARY


/introducing.the.intemet/intro.to.ip
Introduction to the Internet Protocols
Computer Science Facilities Group
RUTGERS
The State University of New Jersey
3 July 1987
This is an introduction to the Internet networking protocols (TCP/IP). It includes a
summary of the facilities available and brief descriptions of the major protocols in the family.
Copyright (C) 1987, Charles L. Hedrick. Anyone may reproduce this document, in
whole or in part, provided that: (1) any copy or republication of the entire document must show
Rutgers University as the source, and must include this notice; and (2) any other use of this
material must reference this manual and Rutgers University, and the fact that the material is
copyright by Charles Hedrick and is used by permission.
Unix is a trademark of AT&T Technologies, Inc.
Table of Contents
1. What is TCP/IP?
2. General description of the TCP/IP protocols
2.1 The TCP level
2.2 The IP level
2.3 The Ethernet level
3. Well-known sockets and the applications layer
3.1 An example application: SMTP
4. Protocols other than TCP: UDP and ICMP
5. Keeping track of names and information: the domain system
6. Routing
7. Details about Internet addresses: subnets and broadcasting
8. Datagram fragmentation and reassembly
9. Ethernet encapsulation: ARP
10. Getting more information
Portions of Section 2 and all of Sections 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 have been omitted.
This document is a brief introduction to TCP/IP, followed by advice on what to read for
more information. This is not intended to be a complete description. It can give you a
reasonable idea of the capabilities of the protocols. But if you need to know any details of the
technology, you will want to read the standards yourself. Throughout the text, you will find
references to the standards, in the form of "RFC" or "IEN" numbers. These are document
numbers. The final section of this document tells you how to get copies of those standards.
91


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