Our contribution to this year HCI 2009 conference about “Interactive Technology for Enhancing Distributed Learning: A Study on Weblogs” is now online available.
In this study, it was investigated whether, and to what extent, Web 2.0 technologies, actually Weblogs, can be a suitable instrument for enhancing the practice of distributed learning. In educational settings, which are based on traditional lectures many students begin serious study shortly before the exam. However, from previous empirical research, it is known that the practice of distributed learning is much more conducive to retaining knowledge than that of massed learning. A 2*2 factorial design (within – repeated measures) with pre-test and post-test in a real life setting was applied; the study lasted for the whole summer term 2007. Participants were N=28 computer science undergraduates of Graz University of Technology. We randomly assigned them to two groups of equal size: The experimental group given the Weblog treatment are referred to as Group W; whereas the control group with no access are referred to as Group C. Students of group W were instructed to use the Weblog for developing their paper and studying during the lecture and they were requested not to reveal their group affiliation. The results showed that performance scores of group W were significantly higher than that of group C. This demonstrates that Weblogs can be an appropriate instrument to supplement a classical lecture in order to enable deeper processing of information over a longer period of time, consequently resulting in enhanced learning performance.
Reference: Holzinger, A.; Kickmeier-Rust, M.; Ebner, M. (2009) Interactive Technology for Enhancing Distributed Learning: A Study on Weblogs, Proceedings of HCI 2009 The 23nd British HCI Group Annual Conference, Cambridge, London, pp. 309-312
The PrePrint is available here.