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The impact of hypermedia instructional materials on study self-regulation in college students

, Georgia State University, United States

Georgia State University . Awarded


To be academically successful, college students must effectively allocate study effort among multiple courses based on the requirements of each course. An important study self-regulation skill is the ability to answer the pragmatic question “Do I know this subject matter well enough to take the test?” To varying degrees, college students have developed this skill through years of studying paper-based textbooks. Web and CD-ROM instructional materials require students to study materials on a computer screen and organized in a nonlinear structure. Do these nonlinear hypertext and hypermedia. instructional materials impact students' ability to accurately assess their own test readiness and thus to effectively regulate their studying process?

Presentation technology (paper or computer) and content structure (linear or nonlinear) were independent variables in this 2 x 2 factorial design quantitative study. Instructional materials were differentially formatted to create the 4 experimental treatments: (a) linear structure on paper (traditional book format), (b) linear structure on computer, (c) nonlinear structure on paper (a printed nonlinear website), and (d) nonlinear structure on computer (hypermedia). Content was identical in each treatment and consisted of 8 topics.

Experimental subjects (undergraduate students at a small private college) were randomly assigned to the 4 treatment groups. After studying the treatment instructional materials, subjects predicted test performance on each of the 8 topics. Upon completion of an objective posttest, a comprehension calibration coefficient (the dependent variable) was calculated for each subject by correlating the 8 performance predictions with the actual test scores using the Pearson product-moment correlation. Analysis of variance determined if treatments or treatment interaction affected subjects' ability to predict test performance and thus regulate their study processes. Follow-up interviews with 8 subjects explored questions not answered by the experiment and analysis.

Although statistically significant calibration of comprehension was detected, no statistically significant treatment effects or treatment interactions were found. Reliability analysis and item analysis suggested unexpected levels of guessing among subjects during the posttest. Follow-up interviews confirmed that subjects failed to invoke typically used study strategies in preparing for the experimental posttest and thus may not have utilized their full calibration capabilities during the experiment.


Nelms, K.R. The impact of hypermedia instructional materials on study self-regulation in college students. Ph.D. thesis, Georgia State University. Retrieved May 26, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

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