Computers in Human Behavior vol:25 issue:4 pages:804-810
Research on support device-usage reveals that support devices are seldom used, and if used often in an inadequate way such that it is no longer a learning opportunity [Aleven, V., Stahl, E., Schworm, S., Fischer, F., & Wallace, R. (2003). Help seeking and help design in interactive learning environments. Review of Educational Research, 73, 277–320; Clarebout, G., & Elen, J. (2006). Tool use in computer-based learning environments: Towards a research framework. Computers in Human Behavior, 22, 389–411.]. In view of establishing a solid research agenda on the optimization of the use of instructional interventions and support devices, this article discusses three experimental studies, each dealing with different aspects of support device use. In a first study, the impact on support device use of different types and numbers of adjunct aids was investigated. In a second study, the influence of advice on support device use in an open learning environment is studied, while also considering various learner related variables. A third study addresses the use of support devices in a text-based environment.
The results of the three studies reveal that the amount of support device usage is limited and that even advice on the use of the support device cannot always enhance this use. Studies 1 and 2 revealed that the type of support devices influenced the amount of usage. With respect to learner characteristics, studies 2 and 3 revealed no significant effect of self regulation. Students’ mastery orientation on the other hand did influence the support device usage. Reasons for the low usage of support devices are addressed in the discussion.