International Association of Technology, Education and Development (IATED)
ICERI 2012 Proceedings pages:48-57
International conference of Education Research and Innovation (ICERI 2012) edition:5 location:Madrid, Spain date:19-21 November 2012
Research has documented that the use of support, namely tools, in computer-based learning environments (CBLE’s) is complex. The complexity of tool usage has been attributed to a number of variables that can be classified in three groups: learner-related variables, tool-related variables and interventions to use tools. This investigation aimed to examine different variables identified in the three different groups aforementioned.
Therefore, this study focused on the relationships between cognitive (prior knowledge) metacognitive (perceptions) and motivational (self-efficacy) learner-related variables, tool-related variables, namely tool presentation (non-/embedded tool), and interventions (non-/ explained tool functionality) on quantity and quality of tool use. The effects of quantity (time and frequency) and quality of tool use and performance, as well as, the influence of tools on performance were also investigated.
Our population were one hundred and seventeen university degree students. The majority was female (82%) and on average 23 years old (SD= 4.18). They were randomly assigned to one of five conditions (Embedded and non-embedded with explained tool functionality, embedded and non-embedded with non-explained tool functionality and one control condition) to study a hypertext.
The results, first, indicated that prior knowledge had a positive effect on frequency of tool use. Perceived tool usability had a positive relationship on time spent on tools and self-efficacy showed no significant effects on tool use. Second, tool presentation (embedded or non-embedded) had no significant impact on the use of tools. Third, the interventions showed, on the other hand, a negative impact on quantity of tool use. More specifically, the conditions that had the intervention of explained tool functionality spent less time on the tools. Finally, only time spent on tools had a positive relationship with performance. Unexpectedly, quality of tool use and frequency of tool use were correlated and the latter had a negative impact on performance.
Theoretical implications and recommendations for future research on tool use in CBLE’s are discussed.