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Orienting Tasks and Their Impact on Learning and Attitudes in the Use of Hypertext

, University of Northern Colorado, United States

Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia Volume 15, Number 1, ISSN 1055-8896 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA


The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of various external orienting tasks on learning, learner attitudes, and en-route behaviors in the use of an educational hypertext system. Thirty-one sophomore students enrolled in three honors sections of an introductory military history course at the United States Air Force Academy served as subjects in this study. During three 50-minute class periods, the participants used a hypertext database containing approximately 200 articles on airpower in World War I. Each section was given one of three orienting tasks—one in which they were asked to browse the database to learn the content (browsing condition), a second in which they were required to answer factual questions about the material in the database (searching condition), or a third in which they were required to answer conceptual questions (connecting condition). Results indicated that the connecters performed the best on conceptual understanding of the material, followed by the searchers with the browsers performing the worst. Connecters also reported the highest levels of database utility for completing their task and the posttest. These findings indicate the powerful nature of an orienting task and the positive impact of conceptual questions on learning and attitudes.


Gall, J. (2006). Orienting Tasks and Their Impact on Learning and Attitudes in the Use of Hypertext. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 15(1), 5-29. Waynesville, NC USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved March 24, 2019 from .


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