Dissertation Abstract

The Effects of Cueing in a Computer-Based Hypercard Lesson (Learning Paths, Macintosh).

Publication Number:  AG9323590
Author:  Wilson, Suzanne
School:  The University of Texas, Austin
Date:  1993
Pages:  199
Subject:  Education

Prior research has investigated incorporating into instruction focusing activities designed to increase the impact of instruction (Hannafin, 1987; Brown, et al. 1989). It has been suggested (Layman & Hall, 1991) that the associative links provided in the authoring tool HyperCard have potential to provide an adaptable learning environment. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects on learning of combining the associative potential of HyperCard and the focusing activity of nonverbal cueing. Two versions of an instructional sequence were developed. The learning objectives for the instruction related to software metrics. One version included hyper-cues inserted at intervals in the instruction. The second version was identical to the first except that the hyper-cues were not included. The posttest measured learning both at the comprehension and recall levels. The effect of gender, time spent on the instruction, and individual attitudes toward computers were additional foci. Plots were made of the paths pursued by individuals as they worked through the instructional program. The subjects for the study were graduate business students who volunteered to participate. Eighteen students were randomly assigned to the treatment group and 16 students to the control group. Pretest and demographic data indicated that there were no systematic differences between the two groups.

Based on the posttest data there were no significant differences in the learning outcomes between groups. Females took slightly longer than males to complete the instruction. The attitude measure indicated that females considered the value of computers from the perspective of society as opposed to the more personal perspective of males. The paths through the program showed that females in the control group entered the stacks more frequently.

It is suggested that either increasing the length of the instruction, or integrating the computer program more directly with course instruction might result in significant differences. It is also possible that HyperCard is such an effective learning tool on its own that adding additional treatment, such as the insertion of hyper-cues, will produce little effect.

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