The effect of representations on difficulty perception and learning of the physical concept of pressure

David M. J. Corradi, Christophe De Jaegher, Norma A. Juarez-Collazo, Jan Elen, Geraldine Clarebout


Previous research indicates that when learners divide their attention over different sources of information (representations), learners perceive the information as more difficult and have a harder time increasing their understanding. This can be overcome by integrating representations. In this research, using 85 participants, we hypothesized that integrated representations of physics would be perceived as less difficult. Repeated measures MANOVA showed a significant interaction effect between results on the learning tasks and the perceived difficulty questionnaire. Results are discussed in the context of the performance evaluation effect that can occur in more ecologically valid settings.


multiple representations; integration, difficulty perception, ecological setting, physics education

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