ERIC Number: ED421146
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998
Using Hypermedia: Effects of Prior Knowledge and Goal Strength.
Last, David A.; O'Donnell, Angela M.; Kelly, Anthony E.
The influences of a student's prior knowledge and desired goal on the difficulties and benefits associated with using hypertext were examined in this study. Participants, 12 students from an undergraduate course in educational psychology, were assigned to either the low or high prior knowledge category. Within these two groups, subjects were randomly separated into strong and weak accomplishment goals. Students used the SKEIM program (a hierarchically structured hypermedia system) to accomplish their goals. After completing the tasks, students were interviewed. The first part of the interview involved questions related to feelings about use of the program in general. Students were then shown every step they made using SKEIM, and the researcher asked questions about the student's immediate goal or purpose at each branching point. Results showed that students tended to have more than just a cognitive reaction when learning from hypertext. High levels of anxiety were common for the low prior knowledge students, especially when required to perform a specific learning task. Implications are that hypermedia design aspects, in interaction with specific individual characteristics such as prior knowledge and goals, can promote negative affect which is non-productive for learning. Findings suggest that educational software developers should consider features of the audience before committing to a method of instructional delivery. (AEF)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: "SITE 98: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (9th, Washington, DC, March 10-14, 1998). Proceedings"; see IR 018 794.