This dissertation study presents an instructional intervention called LINKS: Learning to Integrate InterNet Knowledge Strategically. It reports evidence of the intervention's impact on two variables: (a) ninth graders' use of ten online reading and integration strategies while engaged in dyadic online inquiry on science topics in school, and (b) evidence of integration from multiple, multimodal Internet texts in their written persuasive arguments. Dyads (n = 8) were randomly assigned to treatment and control conditions. They completed a pretest, three practice/intervention sessions and a posttest. Groups were matched on pretest reading comprehension scores. The treatment group received LINKS, which included explicit instruction of strategies, modeling of strategy use during think-aloud screencasts, and guided instructional support that prompted students to engage strategies while reading. Teacher support was gradually released over three intervention sessions that lasted approximately one hour each. The control group did not receive instruction on strategies. They watched screencasts that included the same content as treatment screencasts, but received no modeled think aloud of strategy use. Control group participants received no instructional support during their online inquiry sessions. All participants read texts online in dyads but wrote persuasive arguments independently. When assumptions for parametric tests were met, they were used for between-groups and within-groups comparisons. Usually non-parametric Mann Whitney-U tests were used for between-groups comparisons and Wilcoxon Signed Rank tests were used for within-groups comparisons. During intervention sessions, treatment participants were more likely than control participants to focus on the type of text and the trustworthiness of a text as they considered its relevance or utility. At posttest, however, treatment condition participants performed no differently from the control participants in terms of these critical evaluation strategies. At posttest, treatment participants were more likely than control participants to explicitly engage background knowledge during online inquiry. This was the only significant posttest difference in strategy use between the groups. In their written arguments, treatment participants were also more likely to use facts they had noted or recorded as preexisting knowledge during inquiry. Although index scores on the Trace Indicators of Integration (TII) Rubric did not differ statistically at pretest or at posttest for the groups, treatment participants did see a statistically significant improvement in their TII index scores by the second intervention session. A similar bump in performance was not observed for the control condition. At posttest, treatment participants were also more likely to include in their written arguments counter points gathered from websites that differed from those used to build the main argument, suggesting that LINKS may have enabled this group of students to bring together more perspectives from a broader range of Internet texts in their written arguments. A single case analysis suggests that students who are very early in their learning trajectories for multiple, multimodal Internet text integration skills may benefit considerably from LINKS. Methodologically, this dissertation also introduces a protocol for measuring trace evidence of integration in students' written arguments. Although results should be interpreted cautiously, teachers of adolescents may find that LINKS offers a promising place to start instruction for online inquiry and the construction of meaning across multiple, multimodal Internet texts.
|Adviser||Douglas K. Hartman|
|School||MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY|
|Subjects||Educational psychology; Secondary education; Educational technology|
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