The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects on the achievement, option use, attitudes, and interactions of college students of instructional method (cooperative vs. individual) and learner control of options during computer-based instruction. The students worked alone or with a partner to complete a computer lesson that provided either a full program with the option to bypass instruction (full-minus condition) or a lean program with the option to select additional instruction (lean-plus condition). The students in the full-minus condition used significantly more optional practice items and spent more time on practice than the students in the lean-plus condition did. The cooperative dyads spent significantly longer on practice items and selected significantly more elaborative feedback items during selected-response practice than the students working alone did. However, no significant achievement differences were found for instructional method or learner-control mode. The results suggest that the achievement benefits of cooperative learning found in previous research may not apply to situations in which mature students are provided with an instructional environment with many learner-controlled options.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology