The effects of student learning using an information processing model of simultaneous/sequential coding to organize teaching strategies

Joy Hanft Collins, Fordham University


A significant body of research on learning style, cognitive style, and hemispheric processes suggests that there are two styles of organization in coding and processing information, simultaneous and sequential. This dual process exists on all levels of information processing: encoding, organizing, transforming, and storage. This study investigated the effects of lessons presented either simultaneously or sequentially to students with identified characteristics of simultaneous or sequential processing. Students in six fourth-grade classes were distributed as equally as possible for a mixture of simultaneous or sequential processing style and high or low achievement in three treatment groups. Each group received a series of three lessons in Roman numerals, covering the same content area, presented either simultaneously, sequentially, or in a non-specified method. Processing style was identified by scores achieved on the Kaufman ABC Mental Processing subtests. High and low achievement was determined on the basis of citywide reading and math scores, classroom achievement, and teacher recommendation. Teachers presented lessons on Roman numerals from lesson scripts designed by the investigator based on the Das, Kirby, and Jarman (1975) model of information processing. The control group lesson was taken from the Minimum Teaching Essentials curriculum guide for New York City public schools. The same posttest of instructional objectives was given to all of the participants at the end of the three lessons. The questions ranged in difficulty levels from knowledge to comprehension to analysis/synthesis. The test scores were examined to determine if the match of lesson presentation to student processing style did in fact produce more effective learning outcomes as hypothesized. Results showed that students in matched conditions significantly exceeded the performance of those in unmatched and control conditions. If the results of the current study are confirmed by future investigations, this model could be extremely helpful in planning teaching strategies to meet individual student needs, especially for the marginal student.

Subject Area

Curricula|Teaching|Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

Collins, Joy Hanft, "The effects of student learning using an information processing model of simultaneous/sequential coding to organize teaching strategies" (1989). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9007175.