Computer-mediated learning: An empirical examination of the influence of technology, task, and individual characteristics
Jennifer A. Nicholson, Washington State University, United States
Washington State University . Awarded
In today's knowledge economy, people are utilizing technology more than ever to deliver instructional material to the learner. Nonetheless, information may not always be presented in such a way that maximizes the learning experience. It is believed that several factors contribute to the effectiveness of a computer-mediated learning experience. These include characteristics of the technology used to convey the instructional material, characteristics of the task itself, and characteristics of the learner. While several studies have examined the effects of technology on learning, very few have investigated the interplay between these factors.
Drawing on the Task-Technology Fit model, a research model was developed to investigate the impacts of task, technology, and individual characteristics on various learning outcomes. The current study specifically examined the influence of vividness, interactivity, task complexity, and learning style on learning outcomes in the context of learning procedural knowledge.
A laboratory experiment was conducted in order to test the model. Overall, results from the study support the proposed research model. Findings indicate that presenting information in a more vivid or more interactive learning environment will significantly increase both satisfaction with the learning environment as well as interest in the topic. Furthermore, strong support was found for utilizing a more vivid or more interactive presentation to increase performance and reduce perceived mental effort when a task is more complex. Finally, mixed support was found regarding the influence of vividness and learning style on performance and perceived mental effort for a more complex task indicating that learning style does not appear to have as great of an impact on learning outcomes as prior research has suggested.
This study has taken a first step at investigating the influence of technology, task, and individual characteristics on learning outcomes. While the research is expected to make both theoretical and practical contributions, especially to those who disseminate knowledge via technology, there is still much to be learned about the complex relationships between task, technology, and individual characteristics in the context of computer-mediated learning.
Nicholson, J.A. Computer-mediated learning: An empirical examination of the influence of technology, task, and individual characteristics. Ph.D. thesis, Washington State University.
Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.
For copies of dissertations and theses: (800) 521-0600/(734) 761-4700 or https://dissexpress.umi.com