Elaboration Strategies          

What is an elaboration strategy?

An elaboration strategy is where the student uses elements of what is to be learned and expands them. The student expands the target information by relating other information to it (ex. creating a phrase, making an analogy).

How can elaboration strategies help your students?

Elaboration strategies connect information to be learned with information that students already know. This connecting takes stress off of working memory, because connections create efficiency of learning and memory.

How can you implement elaboration strategies to effectively meet the diverse learning needs of students? 

Because elaboration strategies create connections, or bridges, to information to be learned, they can be powerful instructional tools for a classroom. The confidence that students have in already knowing the connected information can support their learning of new information.

What are the different types of elaboration strategies?

Consider the information to be elaborated upon, and the needs and abilities of your learners. Analogies, for example, are rather complex ways of connecting information. Enlist student ideas and discussion to help you develop the best elaboration strategy.

 

 

There are various approaches to elaborating upon information: 

A phrase or sentence may be applied to the information.

Ex. The World Trade Center was attacked on September 11, 2001. The date, "9-11" also refers to an emergency situation. The attack on the WTO certainly constituted an emergency situation.

An analogy may be applied to the information.

Ex. An election campaign is like a battle. One side "fires" by saying something against the other side, and then the other side retaliates by doing the same thing.

A relationship may be drawn (based on specific characteristics found in the stimulus material).

Ex. Photosynthesis is a process where plants take in carbon dioxide from the air and produce oxygen. That works just the opposite of me (a human), because I take in oxygen and produce carbon dioxide. This creates a fine balance!

How do you decide on what type of elaboration strategy to use?How do you construct your own elaboration strategy?

      • Analyze the information to be elaborated upon and consider learner needs and abilities. Also consider the information that students already know.
      • Present information to be attended to and elaborated upon.
      • Guide discussion about the information to formulate effective elaboration (ex. phrases, sentences, analogies, relationships).
      • Provide example elaborations.
      • Reinforce (a) the students' comprehension and recall of the material as well as (b) their ability to elaborate.
      • Analyze the information to be elaborated upon and consider learner needs and abilities. Also consider the information that students already know.
      • Present information to be attended to and elaborated upon.
      • Guide discussion about the information to formulate effective elaboration (ex. phrases, sentences, analogies, relationships).
      • Provide example elaborations.
      • Reinforce (a) the students' comprehension and recall of the material as well as (b) their ability to elaborate.

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