AAAI Publications, 2010 AAAI Fall Symposium Series

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What Can Hypertext Re-Reading Tell Us about the Design of Adaptive (Metacognitive) Help Functions?
Stephanie Pieschl, Rainer Bromme, Elmar Stahl

Last modified: 2010-11-03


A well-documented finding in the help-seeking literature is that especially those learners who need it the most do not seek help (appropriately). In this exploratory study, we investigated re-reading as a unique window into elementary help-seeking processes. Students had to learn the content of multiple hypertext pages of different complexity for a subsequent knowledge test. After this learning phase we randomly assigned learners to two experimental groups: The memory control group (MG, n = 14) directly answered the knowledge test and the experimental help-seeking group (HSG, n = 15) had the option to re-read the hypertext pages before answering. Results show that HSG students outperformed MG students and that HSG students strongly adapted the extent and frequency of their re-reading to task complexity and the complexity of the hypertext pages. However, more re-reading or more adaptivity did not automatically enhance performance on the knowledge test. The implications of these findings for the design of adaptive (metacognitive) help functions in computer-based learning environments will be discussed.


help-seeking; re-reading; complexity; adaptation; hypertext

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