[[abstract]]Abstract Many researches have been demonstrated that self-explaining is an effective strategy for learners to learn. Some researchers also found that diagrams and pictures can facilitate the self-explanation effect, however, Wilkin (1997) argues that diagrams may inhibit self-explanation effect. Besides, will texts with alternative representations be more cognitive load for learners to learn? So, the purpose of this study is trying to explore students’ performance, cognitive load and conceptual change of the process to study different format of material about reproduction concepts of plants and animals while self-explaining. Participants (thirty-two 4th graders) were randomly assigned to four groups: text group (only texts), table group (with tables and texts), picture group (with pictures and texts), mixed group (with tables, pictures and texts). In the study phase, subjects were asked to generate self-explanations while they were learning and after pre-test and post-test, they were interviewed to let their misconceptions and circumstances of conceptual change to be known. The main results of this study are as follows: 1. Learning outcomes : picture group scored highest than all other groups. 2. Number of self-explanations : students in the picture group generated more self- explanations than all other groups and students who generated a greater number of self-explanations performed better at learning performance. 3. Kinds of self-explanations : groups with pictures were generated more” elaborate situation self-explanations” than groups without pictures; groups with tables were generated more” summary self-explanations” than groups without tables. 4. Types of self-explanations : both table group and picture group have 5 types while mixed group has 6 types. The point in common is that students self-explaining with reading different representations will perform better in learning outcomes and generate more self-explanations. 5. Cognitive load : the cognitive load of picture group is lowest while text group is highest and there is a significantly negative relation between cognitive load and performances. 6. Misconceptions and conceptual change : the common misconception of the reproduction concepts of plants and animals is that students tend to think “reproduction” as “growing” and the main sources of misconceptions are the shape of plants and animals, misunderstanding of words, life experience and intuition. As for conceptual change, that is hard for students to change is the misconceptions which from the sources mentioned above. 7. Attitudes toward self explanations : picture group and mixed group had the most positive attitude to the acceptance and learning effects of self- explanations, in other way, table group and text group hadn’t.
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