Structuring of Information for Understanding: An Aid to Planning

Structuring of Information for Understanding: An Aid to Planning

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3392-4.ch004
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Abstract

Using well-structured information when describing a complex subject will increase understanding of, and therefore improve memory retention of, the subject material. A good structure conveys additional understanding separate from the information content itself. It is necessary to be aware of the way cue words and text abstracts can prepare the reader for the succeeding ideas. There are a number of alternatives to providing a preview of upcoming material: One is that the abstract should be structured in a very formal way with subheadings and subsections. Another approach requires summaries formatted as numbered list items within the document. Readability is, of course, one of the basic tenets for good documentation and has been a topic of concern in many papers. Gribbons (1992) makes the point that most bodies of knowledge have an inherent structure, and the visual presentation of that information should follow the complexity of the structure and complement it. A number of authors propose the idea that more visual documentation will facilitate the management and navigation through complex documentation.
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Cue Words: Direction And Misdirection

There is research to say that the cue words associated with a subject word and used when a person is committing the subject word to memory, will aid the recall of the subject (Tulving & Ostler, 1968). This was refined by Thompson and Tulving (1970) to say it is the encoding of the cue with the subject word that enhances retrieval.

Misdirection is the key that provides the magic in the magician's trick, and a significant aspect of misdirection is the use of cue words. In presenting material to convey critical information it is necessary to be aware of the effect of cue words. From psychology and a conference paper discussing psychology and magicians is some critical thoughts on the use of cue words and the art of using misdirection. Cues that have the audience looking where the magician wants and away from what the magician is actually doing. Misdirection can be said to be the intentional deflection of attention for a given purpose and further that real misdirection can deceive the mind as well as the eye. And it is not only magicians that use misdirection, politicians and the military can be accused of misdirection when addressing the public and want to avoid conveying the real essence of bad news (Kuhn et al., 2014).

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