ERIC Number: ED355508
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Hypertext Learning Environments, Cognitive Flexibility, and the Transfer of Complex Knowledge: An Empirical Investigation.
Jacobson, Michael J.; Spiro, Rand J.
Although the use of hypertext systems for learning complex knowledge has been attracting recent attention, there have been few discussions in the hypertext literature on issues related to the cognitive prerequisites for learning conceptually demanding material. A study was conducted to investigate a theory-based hypertext learning environment that provided instruction in a complex and ill-structured domain. Subjects were 34 first- and second-year university students who were paid for their participation in the study. The experimental treatment incorporated several features derived from recent cognitive learning theory, in particular a hypertext procedure that presented the instructional material in multiple contexts to highlight different facets of the knowledge. The main results of the study revealed that although the control treatment led to higher performance on the measures of "memory" for factual knowledge, the more hypertext-like treatment promoted superior knowledge "transfer." Overall, these findings suggest that hypertext learning environments that present the instructed knowledge by explicitly demonstrating critical interrelationships between abstract and case-specific knowledge components in multiple contexts would be better at preparing students to use knowledge in new ways and in new situations. (Five figures and seven tables are include; a list of 59 references is attached.) (Author/SR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Illinois Univ., Champaign. Coll. of Education.; Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Study of Reading, Urbana, IL.