The feature validity of a knowledge component measures how well the features associated with the mental representation of the knowledge component match the features present during all situations where the component should be recalled.
A student has acquired a knowledge component (KC) with high feature validity when the retrieval features of that knowledge component are all relevant and none are irrelevant. Through the learning process of refinement a learner may modify an existing KC to produce a new one with higher feature validity.
Feature validity is a generalization of the standard concept of cue validity. Cues are usually understood to be perceptual or at least rapidly computed (MacWhinney & Bates, 1989). The term “features” includes cues as well as higher level properties, such as those used by experts but not novices (Chi, Feltovitch, & Glaser, 1981).
See the Booth page for examples of knowledge components with different levels of feature validity.
- Chi, M. T. H., Feltovich, P. J., & Glaser, R. (1981). Categorization and representation of physics problems by experts and novices. Cognitive Science, 5, 121–152.
- McDonald, J. L., & MacWhinney, B. (1989). Maximum likelihood models for sentence processing research. In B. MacWhinney & E. Bates (Eds.), The crosslinguistic study of sentence processing (pp. 397-421). New York: Cambridge University Press.