Association for Educational Communications and Technology
Educational Technology Research and Development vol:59 issue:4 pages:553-573
Explicitly informing students about learning goals has been argued to foster intentional learning. This study tested three theoretical hypotheses regarding the facilitating
effects of learning goals by investigating 72 students’ actual reading behaviour and cognitive processes (i.e., the use of learning goals). Participants studied a text presented on 15 separate computer screens with/without learning goals. In line with the three hypotheses, the analyses focused on three aspects: students’ interpretations of the learning goals, information selection
processes and monitoring behaviour. Results indicated variability among students in their perceptions of the learning goals in terms of goal consistency and specificity. Students in the learning goal condition recorded more goal-relevant information in their notes. However,only few students deliberately used learning goals to monitor their goal-directed activities while studying the text. Analysis of students’ reading behaviour and cognitive processes suggests that the absence of significant performance differences between the conditions can be explained by referring to students’ actual use of learning goals.