22 SES 11 D, Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Higher Education
Parallel Paper Session
The current contribution investigates whether students’ actual tool-use can be related to students’ self-reported strategy use within the course. In this way, the study strives to explain the tool-use differences that were found in multiple studies (e.g., Hoskins & Van Hooff, 2005) and furthermore it strives to find behavioral indications for students’ strategy use within a content management (CMS) supported course.
Hypothetically, students’ tool-use can be related to the study strategy research by comparing the behavioral indicators of each study strategy with the different tool-functionalities. Dependent on the kind of support for the learning process, CMS tools can be categorized in a) information tools as tools that provide information in a structured or elaborated way such as outlines, b) cognitive tools as tools that allow interaction with the learning content such as a discussion board or practice quizzes and c) scaffolding tools as tools that guide students’ learning process such as adjunct questions (Hannafin, Land, & Oliver, 1999)The current contribution uses Vermunts’ (1998) model of study strategies in order to set the hypotheses. Data gathered with the Inventory of Learning Styles (Vermunt, 1998) established four study strategies that are empirically dominant: (a) a self-regulated and deep oriented, (b) an external and surface oriented, (c) an unregulated, and (d) an application directed study strategy. Each study strategy is characterized by a distinct behavioral profile in terms of processing and regulation strategies (Vermunt, 1998). In order to set hypotheses, the behavioral profile of each study strategy is linked to the tool-functionalities.
For example, students with an unregulated study strategy lack regulation of their learning processes. These students are strongly focused on the available learning support although it remains unclear for them how these devices can support their learning. Furthermore, these students are strongly focused on factual information (Vermunt, 1998). In line with this behavioral profile, it is expected that these students will use most of the available tools. However, they will use them in a superficial way. Specifically, they will use the practice quizzes (cognitive tool) shortly since they are mainly focused on the questions and the correct answers. Moreover, they will avoid practice quizzes that deal with comprehending and applying the content since these tools are less straightforward. In addition to this, these students will use the discussion board (cognitive tool) passively i.e., they will merely read messages. In this way, the discussion board will not be used to reflect and discuss the course content. Furthermore, they will use the scaffolding tools frequently and intensively since these tools provide guidance on what to consider.
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