An evaluation of factors affecting students' use of a web-based engineering resource

Canavan, Brian (2007) An evaluation of factors affecting students' use of a web-based engineering resource. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The purpose of this work was to investigate the relationship between a number of influential factors, including cognitive style and approach to learning, and students’ processing behaviour during their use of a particular Web-based resource for Electronics and Electrical Engineering undergraduates. This was achieved through the development of a learner profile for each student using Riding’s (1991) Revised Study Process Questionnaire (R-SPQ-2F). The quantitative component of the research was then set against a detailed analysis of students’ processing behaviour using verbal protocol data gathered through individual think-aloud sessions and post-intervention interviews.

The results of the quantitative component of the research provided no compelling evidence to suggest that cognitive style was a factor that influenced student performance while using the resource or their perceptions of the package. There was however, some evidence to suggest that the package was more positively received by students who profiled as deep learners than their surface counterparts.

The analysis of students’ processing behaviour from their verbal protocols highlighted a number of the resource’s shortcomings, which typically promoted a surface, goal-oriented approach to its content. It also identified problems with the design and structure of the resource, which at times had a deleterious effect on learning. The results also raised questions regarding the efficacy and use of psychometric inventories in this kind of research.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Robert Clark Centre for Technological Education
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering
Supervisor's Name: Doughty, Gordon and Whitehead, Rex
Date of Award: 2007
Depositing User: Elaine Ballantyne
Unique ID: glathesis:2007-2238
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2010
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2014 10:00

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