Comprehension

Comprehension is the process of integrating, interpreting, analyzing, evaluating and connecting of ideas in a text. It can also be said to be the acquisition of meaning from a copy with one’s intelligence and involves making use of skills. Comprehension involves the use of knowledge of vocabulary and language.

There are six comprehension strategies used in the accomplishment of comprehension goals. These strategies include:

  1. Making connections with something currently occurring in the world from the text;
  2. Predicting of what will happen next;
  3. Questioning to enhance understanding;
  4. Monitoring whether the comprehension is making sense;
  5. Visualizing by creating a mental image by bringing what has been learned to life;
  6. Summarizing the main ideas and putting them in their own words.

This paper will discuss comprehension as a learning problem.

Good Behavioral Objectives

Good behavioral objectives are used to enhance the learning process and comprehension by improving the results of an individual after their use. The following are the main good behavioral learning objectives.

Good behavioral objective is student-oriented and hence emphasizes on what the student does and not what the teacher is supposed to do. Students are the most significant beings who need proper care to produce the best results. Teacher-oriented objectives are used as one of the methods of helping the students understand and comprehend.

In addition, good behavioral objective describes the learning outcome of students. The learning outcome of the students is the prime objective while teaching and does not consider the procedure or the learning activities applied. The path followed in comprehending does not determine the goal or the achievement. The outcome justifies the path followed towards achieving the goal. The teacher can decide the learning activities, if the desired learning outcomes have been accomplished.

Good behavioral objective should be understandable and clear to everybody (Harvey & Goudvis, 2000). Explicitness is one of the prerequisites for understandable and clear objectives. Understandable and clear objectives can be used to determine whether outcome is as expected.

Lastly, good behavioral objective should be observable by everybody. Observable objectives are brought about by the selection of the most appropriate verbs, which explain observable actions.

Good behavioral objectives can be enhanced by the use of set inductions. The set inductions help draw the learners’ attention into the learning activities. In addition, it creates frameworks for organizing ideas or information of which they follow. The set inductions also extend application and understanding of ideas by use of analogy and examples. Lastly, the set inductions also stimulate involvement and interest in the learning activities by the student.

Intervention Strategies

The intervention strategies assist in comprehension. The following are the major five intervention strategies.

Paraphrasing

This is achieved by paraphrasing the main idea and key details by “chunking” all paragraphs. This helps locating the key details and main ideas in all the paragraphs.

Story grammar

This is mainly used in summarizing narratives. The student is supposed to identify fiction elements in a given text and make predictions from the fictitious elements. They are also supposed to summarize predictions orally and draw a conclusion from predictions.

Generating questions or self-questioning

Look for picture clues and words from the text. Question yourself about the “w” questions from the clues. Later make predictions, which are question based and read to locate answers for the predictions. Lastly, evaluate your predictions’ accuracy and summarize them orally.

Try creating visual imagery and find descriptive clues

Clues should include general pictures or scenes and visual details specifically from the text. Make visual interpretations for clues like graphs and pictures. The student should scan graphics and make predictions from them. The clues from the graphics should be analyzed, so as to locate the main ideas from all the graphics. After analyzing the clues, the main ideas should be paraphrased and summarized.

Locate Clues or Multi-Pass

This is done by surveying the whole chapter to locate the questions and text clues. This is followed by reading section questions and skimming through the whole text in an attempt to locate answers. Conclude by paraphrasing the paragraphs containing answers and answer the questions by writing.

Analysis of Learning and Memory Principles

Learning is a process of acquiring, comprehending and understanding knowledge. Memorizing is committing a text to ones memory through repetition and does not necessarily involve comprehension and understanding. According to Mcnamara (2007), there are two types of learning. They include:

  • Rote learning. This type of learning does not require a deep understanding level and can be gained with little or no meaning of the information;
  • Meaningful learning. It involves integration of new information with the previous one to create meaning. Students must engage themselves into thoughtful and active information.

Below is a table showing analysis of learning and memory principles.

Learners condition Intervention activities Learning principle Expected results Verification method
  • educational level: college student;
  • both male and female (40% and 60% respectively).
  • self-questioning;
  • paraphrasing;
  • visual imagery;
  • multi-pass;
  • story grammar.
  • drawing inferences;
  • making connections;
  • identifying clues;
  • summarizing;
  • identifying major ideas;
  • generating questions.
  • maximizing sensory input;
  • enhanced comprehension;
  • increased degree of information retention;
  • -will eliminate a lot of mismatch situations.
  • examination after 2 weeks;
  • referring from teachers;
  • answering of questions.

Comprehension is a behavioral problem that can be solved by the use of teaching strategies. The use of teaching strategies will reduce the problem of mismatch, which causes inattentiveness and creates a negative impact on the understanding and comprehension on the student. The performance of students increases when the learning and teaching styles are compatible.

Impacts of Learning Styles on Memory, Learning and Studying

They affect the way important information is received, processed and stored in the learners’ brain. Different learners will always receive and process information differently depending on their learning style. After receiving information, the learning style will determine how attentive the learner will be in the learning activity.

The learning style will also determine what type of stimuli the student will choose to retain or loose. It also affects the type of environmental stimuli the learner can respond to. Lastly it will determine the efficiency with which processing and retaining of information will be done.

Teaching strategies to encourage the learning process

Combination of teaching styles in the classroom enhances comprehension and the retaining capacity of information received. The following are the main teaching strategies:

  • Avoid the rote learning method and use the meaningful method;
  • Use vital thinking skills;
  • Give challenging narrative problems to the learners;
  • Make use of information and concepts;
  • Encourage learners to ask questions and discuss among themselves;
  • Assign mutual group projects to the learners;
  • Integrate tactile, auditory, visual and kinesthetic techniques;
  • Allocate unrestricted activities to give confidence;
  • Support the use of technology and other type’s media;
  • Lastly, provide comprehensive examinations.

Conclusion

Comprehension is a common problem among learners and it is brought about by the use of inappropriate learning styles. The use of active and multisensory learning strategies acts as a brain stimulator, improves comprehension and increases concentration. Learning styles establish how much and what is retained or comprehended.