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Title:Knowledge acquisition, cognitive flexibility, and the instructional applications of hypertext: A comparison of contrasting designs for computer-enhanced learning environments
Author(s):Jacobson, Michael J.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Waugh, Michael L.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, General
Psychology, Experimental
Education, Technology of
Abstract:This study explored the use of contrasting computer-based designs for providing instruction at an advanced stage of learning in a complex and ill-structured domain. The program consisted of two parts: an instructional hypertext program containing the content on the social impact of technology and the actual experimental treatments that differed for the two groups. The primary design for the experimental group employed a thematic criss-crossing procedure that used multiple presentations of previously read case sections that shared common thematic elements. The comparison group completed a computer-based drill design containing items requiring the recall of factual information and the identification of social impact of technology themes. An instrument was also administered to determine the possible influence of the learners' basic beliefs concerning the nature of knowledge and learning on their use of the two different instructional approaches.
The results of this experiment revealed that the Computer-Based Drill group achieved significantly higher scores on the measures of factual knowledge. The Thematic Criss-Crossing group, however, attained higher scores than the Computer-Based Drill group on all of the higher-order conceptual knowledge transfer tasks, and a significantly higher score on the main transfer task by the last session of the experiment. There was also an interaction between the epistemological learning preference of the subjects and the treatment group they were assigned to. Subjects with a simple epistemological learning preference tended to do better in the Computer-Based Drill treatment, while the subjects with a complex epistemological learning preference tended to perform at a higher level when assigned to the Thematic Criss-Crossing treatment.
The results of this experiment suggest that preparing students to use knowledge in new ways and in new situations may be promoted by the use of instructional hypertext systems which: (a) provide multiple representations of knowledge, (b) link abstract knowledge to varied case examples of knowledge application, and (c) stress interrelationships between surface and structural knowledge components. In addition, designers and educators may wish to assess beliefs held by students concerning the nature of knowledge and learning that may enhance or constrain the effectiveness of a given type of computer-enhanced learning environment.
Issue Date:1991
Rights Information:Copyright 1991 Jacobson, Michael J.
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9124433
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9124433

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