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The Effect Of Hypermedia Instruction On Achievement And Attitudes Of Students With Different Learning Styles

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



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Page Numbers

6.994.1 - 6.994.9

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Paper Authors

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Judith Waalen

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Malgorzata Zywno

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1330

The Effect of Hypermedia Instruction on Achievement and Attitudes of Students with Different Learning Styles

Malgorzata S. Zywno, Judith K. Waalen Ryerson University


The goal of this ongoing action research project has been to increase student learning and satisfaction using an innovative approach to instruction, evaluation and interaction with students. A process control course in electrical engineering was redesigned, introducing collaborative, active learning using real-life applications. The course utilizes interactive hypermedia presentations and software simulations in the classroom and takes advantage of the interactive learning environment supported by WebCT1 software. This includes asynchronous communications (email and bulletin board) and online access to hypermedia materials. The evidence gathered during our empirical study revealed positive effects of hypermedia on students’ achievement. Our research also indicated that specific learning preferences are better accommodated through hypermedia-assisted instruction than through conventional instruction.

I. Introduction

The course was redesigned in 1997 to introduce active, collaborative learning, and to increase the exposure to real-life control problems. Student-centered, experiential learning has been shown to have a measurable effect on students’ achievement2, 3. It also has a positive impact beyond quantitative measures of academic outcomes, such as changes in students’ thinking, intellectual development, and personal growth4. The course designers therefore placed emphasis not only on the provision of a solid theoretical foundation, but also on the extension of the theory to practice, and on teamwork and communication skills. Real-time experiments in servo-motor control, demonstrations (fuzzy logic and optimal control of a 3D helicopter simulator), realistic design, testing, and implementation using advanced computer simulations (MATLAB and Simulink5) became an integral part of the course in and outside of the classroom6, 7.

Non-technical skills became a larger part of course assessment, as groups of students prepared comprehensive design project reports, with attention paid to improving verbal and written communication skills. Course instructors also encouraged electronic communications via email to increase flexibility of student-instructor exchanges. Since much of the theory of process control relies on understanding fairly complicated mathematical concepts that can be enhanced through visualization, we next turned our attention to technology-enabled instruction and on-line support for the course8. Through continuing infrastructure investments over the past five years, many lecture theatres at Ryerson University have been permanently equipped to handle high-end

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Waalen, J., & Zywno, M. (2001, June), The Effect Of Hypermedia Instruction On Achievement And Attitudes Of Students With Different Learning Styles Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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