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Cognitive Strategies And Learning From The World Wide Web

Janette R. Hill, M. Hannafin
Published 1997 · Psychology

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The purpose of this study was to identify the strategies used by adult learners in an open-ended hypermedia information system. Four participants were drawn from an introductory educational technology course that incorporated a unit on telecommunications. Participants completed a survey measuring reported knowledge in three domains (metacognitive, system, and subject) as well as self-efficacy toward technology. They then identified a personal search topic, and searched the World Wide Web for information using Netscape®, thinking aloud as they searched. Data collection and analysis occurred in several phases: scripting the search, reading through the data, segmenting according to research question, encoding, and aggregating. Three major findings related to hypermedia information systems resulted from this study: (a) a variety of strategies are used by learners; (b) self-reported knowledge appears to affect the strategies used; and (c) perceptions of disorientation and perceived self-efficacy influence the strategies used. Implications related to emerging information technologies and open-ended learning environments are considered.
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