Journal article Open Access
Robert V. Mayer
The article analyzes the problem of assessment of the informativeness (or informational content) and the didactic complexity of various learning material elements (educational concepts, pictures and education texts). The informativeness of learning material elements (LMEs) is considered equal to the number of concepts to be used for its presentation or the description. Under the didactic complexity of LME it is offered to understand the value proportional to the time or amount of the efforts demanded by the 5–class Russian schoolchild for his/her studying this LME. As all educational information is presented in a verbal form, to define the complexity of LME it is necessary to decompose LME into separate concepts, to estimate their separate difficulty, and then to summarize it. The article considers: 1) the estimation of difficulty of experimental and theoretical studying of a concept using the method of paired comparisons; 2) spreading out cards with scientific concepts on them in order of increasing complexity; 3) the calculation of the objects and links in the picture taking into account their abstractness degree; 4) the determination of terms (concepts) number in the text, accounting their complexity. Uniform criteria for estimation of the words (concepts) complexity in educational texts on natural-science disciplines are elaborated and the abstract-ness scale is constructed. The received results can be used to assess the complexity of textbooks in natural sciences. The developed estimation method of didactic complexity of the physics textbooks includes: 1) the estimation of the physics complexity of the textbook summing up the complexity of the physical objects, phenomena, experiments, statements and theories; 2) the measurement of mathematical complexity of the textbook by counting the number of formulas (considering their complexity) and drawings presenting mathematical abstractions (a vector, power lines, graphs); 3) the calculation of the total index of the textbook didactic complexity. With the help of this method 16 Russian physics textbooks for school and university have been analyzed, their distribution within the characteristics space "physical complexity - mathematical complexity" has been studied.
01. METHODS OF THE INFORMATIVENESS AND DIDACTIC COMPLEXITY - Mayer R. V..pdf