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Title:Linear approach vs. non-linear approach in computer-based instruction: An empirical study of network branching in hypertext application
Author(s):Lin, Cheng-An Andrew
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Dennis, J. Richard
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Technology of
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Abstract:This study examined (a) the effectiveness of a hypertext network branching approach vs. a linear sequential approach in computer-based instruction and (b) the effects of learner control in a new hypertext learning environment. Sixty subjects were randomly and evenly assigned to one of three treatment groups. Group 1 took the linear MicroSoft Word tutorial. Groups 2 and 3 took a hypertext MicroSoft Word tutorial. The difference between Groups 2 and 3 was in their familiarity to the network branching capabilities of the hypertext environment. Group 3 was guaranteed such familiarity by 10 minutes of instruction prior to the tutorial learning. Group 2 was not. The learning results were indicated by subject's performance (test scores and test completion time) in an immediate follow-up test and a retention test a week later. Subject's attitudes toward learning were evaluated through an attitude scale obtained from each subject after tutorial learning.
Results indicate that hypertext network branching instruction is better than linear sequential instruction in knowledge learning and knowledge retention if learners of the former instructional system know how the system works. Learners' familiarity with the hypertext system used to deliver instruction is vital to the success of a hypertext network branching approach. A hypertext learning environment does provide a different and interesting perspective on learner control. Learner control will lead to better knowledge learning and knowledge retention than control imposed by the lesson author when learners' needs for learning control are met by more control capabilities in network branching instruction and when learners know how to use these control capabilities. However, learners of network branching instruction do not necessarily show a better learning attitude and a higher learning motivation than learners of linear sequential instruction no matter whether the former are familiar with the instructional delivery system or not.
Issue Date:1991
Rights Information:Copyright 1991 Lin, Cheng-An Andrew
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9136662
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9136662

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