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ERIC Number: ED532332
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 177
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-5585-1
Learner Interest: An Affective Variable in Iterative Course Design Evaluation
Francis, Linda M.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Capella University
The study examined interest, a unique affective construct distinct from motivation, as an important instructional design consideration. New interest theory suggests that interest develops along a continuum, and at its earliest stages, may be triggered through intentional use of interesting materials and environments. Instructional designers need to better understand learner perceptions related to interest and examine effective methods for capturing same. To date, interest has received minimal attention in the research literature as an affective variable important to the design process, particularly in online learning environments. Comparisons of a new phased interest development model with established instructional design models highlight benefits to the design community attendant to incorporating interest theories with more well-established instructional design theories. Examination of possible relationships between two predictor variables, learner interest in course topic and interest in Web-based learning in general; and the criterion variable, end-of-lesson assessment scores, during first quarter enrollment in Web-based college courses was the study's focus. A correlational research design, utilizing the Course and Web Interest Scales developed by Nummenmaa and Nummenmaa in 2008, assessed ongoing learner interest (n = 32) throughout a 12-week college quarter across multiple courses. Simple linear and standard multiple regression models found a statistically significant relationship between Web-based learning interest and end-of-lesson assessment scores during the early phases of the online course experience. Practical implications for consideration of learner interest in the course design, modification, and evaluation process include quantitative affirmation of student course experiences, both positive and negative; and assessment of fluctuations in learner interest during a course. Theoretical implications include the need for new instructional design theory combining interest as an affective construct and triggering mechanism with emerging design process theories. Future research directions are offered to revalidate initial findings in single courses; examine between-group differences in multiple courses; replicate similar studies with experienced versus novice online learners; and conduct experimental research to examine the tenets of a phased interest development theory in Web-based learning environments. A research path seeking to incorporate interest as a critical affective variable with diverse learner populations may serve to strengthen learning outcomes resulting from instructional design efforts. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A