Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Interdisciplinary Education

Major Professor

Arthur Shapiro, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ann Barron, Ed.D.

Committee Member

James Carey, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jeffrey Kromrey, Ph.D.


Content-centered instruction, Learner-centered instruction, Constructivist, Behaviorist, Gagn.Ì?


As online learning increases and classroom use of print textbooks are gradually replaced by web-based instruction, what features of online instruction prove beneficial to student learning? The present study has three purposes; (1) To examine the effects of conversion of textbook content to web-based instruction for an extant Internet search course. The researcher examined performance differences of an online textbook to web tutorial compared to a second version that included interactive features found in classroom instruction. (2) To investigate students’ perceptions of material that afforded high levels of learner control and compared responses to a more structured instructional module. (3) To document the design process used to convert textbook material to web-based instruction.

Gagnè’s Events of Instruction (1985) differentiated features for comparison and treatment online modules; one featured content-centered, the other learner-centered instructional strategies. The treatment module incorporated interactive features from the Texas Information Literacy Tutorial (TILT) with content modifications appropriate to Internet training modules.

A pretest-treatment-posttest experimental design was used to assess student achievement within and between two groups of 41 high achievement eighth graders. Scores for comprehension and performance tests (scavenger hunt) assessed students’ retention and performance. Carey’s (1994) Academic Motivation Profile (AMP) instrument was used to study student perceptions of material on; attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction.

No differences between comparison and treatment groups occurred on comprehension. Mean scores across both groups increased from X = 58.97 to 72.63 (N=41). A repeated measures ANOVA revealed a main effect F (1,39)= 40.233, p<.000.. Both groups excelled on the scavenger hunt with a X = 92% (N = 41). The AMP revealed no significant differences between groups on attention, relevance, confidence, or satisfaction. The research confirmed previous findings by Schnackenberg (1998) that provision of high learner control to high ability students proved sufficient for mastery of course content. When practitioners convert print materials for online delivery, considerations such as learner characteristics, validity of testing instruments, navigation, elaboration, and practical considerations are important to the success of the product. Replication using a heterogeneous audience would assist practitioners in their efforts to make decisions regarding strategies for students of different ability levels