You are here:

An Analysis of Cognitive Tool Use Patterns in a Hypermedia Learning Environment


Educational Technology Research and Development Volume 53, Number 1, ISSN 1042-1629


In this study, we examined the use of cognitive tools provided in a problem-based hypermedia learning environment for sixth graders. Purposes were to understand how the built-in tools were used, and if tool use was associated with different problem-solving stages. Results showed that tools supporting cognitive processing and sharing cognitive load played a more central role early in the problem-solving process, whereas tools supporting cognitive activities that would be out of students' reach otherwise, and hypothesis generation and testing were used more in the later stages of problem-solving. The findings also indicated that students increasingly used multiple tools in the later stages of their problem-solving process. The various tools, performing different functions, appeared to enable students to coordinate multiple cognitive skills in a seamless way and, therefore, facilitated their information processing. Results also suggested that students with higher performance scores made more productive use of tools than students with lower performance scores. Findings of the study are discussed.


Liu, M. & Bera, S. (2005). An Analysis of Cognitive Tool Use Patterns in a Hypermedia Learning Environment. Educational Technology Research and Development, 53(1), 5-22. Retrieved July 9, 2020 from .

This record was imported from ERIC on December 3, 2015. [Original Record]

ERIC is sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education.

Copyright for this record is held by the content creator. For more details see ERIC's copyright policy.


Cited By

View References & Citations Map

These links are based on references which have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake, please contact