An investigation of students' computer-based learning strategies

Di Paolo, Terry (2002). An investigation of students' computer-based learning strategies. PhD thesis The Open University.



In recent decades, there has been a significant increase in the development and use of computer based learning technology in tertiary education. At the same time, researchers in the field of education have begun to develop an understanding of student learning in terms of learning strategies. Such constructs represent motives, behaviours and thought processes adopted by the student that are believed to mediate learning. This thesis investigates the learning strategies adopted by students using a computer-assisted learning system as part of their studies. Furthermore, the thesis examines the extent to which these computer-based strategies differ from learning strategies related to traditional teaching methods and tools.

The computer-based learning strategies of a population of distance education students were investigated using a CD-ROM. The students were studying the course Biology, Brain and Behaviour at the Open University and the Human Brain CD-ROM was an optional component of their learning materials. Data collected from questionnaires, interviews and observations over four studies led to the proposal of a framework of computei-based strategies. This framework comprises ten strategies that cover motivation, information processing and management of resources on the CD-ROM. When these strategies were compared to a framework of strategies related to the study of traditional teaching materials a number of differences emerged between the strategies used in the computer and traditional learning contexts.

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