ERIC Number: ED482105
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
How Do You Like To Learn? Comparing User Preferences and Visit Length of Educational Web Sites.
Schaller, David T.; Allison-Bunnell, Steven; Borun, Minda; Chambers, Margaret B.
This paper reports results of a study designed to determine people's preferences for different types of Web-based educational activity. The primary research question was: How do people's preferences vary among types of Web-based learning activity? Six activity types were identified for comparison: Creative Play, Guided Tour, Interactive Reference, Puzzle/Interactive Mystery, Role-playing Story, and Simulation. A team of Web developers who work with museums and other learning sites collaborated with a team of educational researchers who work primarily with museums to conduct a survey of visitors to five different types of educational Web site. Two kinds of data were collected: user exit surveys, eliciting an evaluation of the study site and preferred genre or type of learning activity; and server statistics indicating the duration of stay. Results indicated that there are clear differences in the type of Web-based learning activity preferred by adults and children. Adults are more likely to select Interactive Reference or Simulation whereas children prefer Creative Play and Role-playing Stories. The adult sites yield more straightforward cognitive information, while the sites preferred by children allow more personal choice and interaction. Apparently, adults bring an intrinsic motivation to the learning experience. They know what they want to learn, and they want to learn it in the most direct way. Children, on the other hand, need to be motivated. They respond positively to the opportunity for interaction and choice within a goal-based environment that offers them an extrinsic purpose. (Contains 24 references.) (Author/MES)
Descriptors: Adult Learning, Children, Comparative Analysis, Instructional Design, Museums, Use Studies, User Needs (Information), User Satisfaction (Information), Web Based Instruction, Web Sites, World Wide Web
For full text: http://www.archimuse.com/mw2002/papers/schaller/schaller.html/.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A