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What Makes Them Click: How Learners Utilize Web Based Courses

, , Tel Aviv University, Israel

EdMedia + Innovate Learning, in Seattle, WA USA ISBN 978-1-880094-35-8 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC


Many educators view the internet as a potential medium for the delivery of mass quality instruction, whilst students increasingly seek on-line courses for learning, even at the high school level (e.g. Many of these online courses jump from paper-based to network-based teaching, using the internet as an information source, a communication media and a platform for curricular activity delivery. Analysis of students' navigation heuristics of web-based courses is an important tool towards a better understanding of web-based learning and of what constitutes good course design in the emerging field of web-based instruction. This research has studied the correlation between page and link characteristics and the way users utilize an online course. We have studied some 600 students access statistics to 3 online courses, given in a framework of a virtual high school (ages 12-18). Both the internet emergence as a significant educational tool and the changes in the educational processes associated with it, stress the need for understanding of how learners behave in this new learning environment and what affects their behavior. Ultimately, this knowledge will lead to the establishment of standard criteria and procedures for reviewing the quality of online courses. Fortunately, Internet technology allows automatic recording of students' actions, e.g. the route they choose and the time spend at each node. This information might enable us to examine many questions that arise about network-based curriculum implementation. It is a novel opportunity, since this precious information was unavailable before in oral, print or CD-based learning. Hence, our study is an attempt in this direction. We analyzed data from high school students taking courses in a virtual high school, and tried to describe several aspects of their behavior when learning. In addition, we tried to explain students' navigation heuristics by assessing its correlation to the spatial and curricular features of the course.


Sassoon, E. & Nachmias, R. (1999). What Makes Them Click: How Learners Utilize Web Based Courses. In B. Collis & R. Oliver (Eds.), Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 1999--World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications (pp. 1614-1615). Seattle, WA USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved April 4, 2020 from .


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