Frequent deadlines: Evaluating the effect of learner control on healthcare executives' performance in online learning

Lawrence V. Fulton, Lana V. Ivanitskaya, Nathaniel D. Bastian, Dmitry A. Erofeev, Francis A. Mendez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

In a three-group, gender-matched, preexisting knowledge-controlled, randomized experiment, we evaluated the effect of learner control over study pace on healthcare executives' performance in an online statistics course. Overall, frequent deadlines enhanced distribution of practice and improved learning. Students with less control over pace (in groups with weekly deadlines) spaced their study episodes to a greater extent than their peers with more control over pace (in groups with monthly and end-of-course deadlines). Online learning experience and technology self-efficacy did not explain practice distribution effects. Student perceptions of control over how, when and in which order they learn did not differ significantly across experimental groups. However, perceived control and spaced practice were positively and significantly related to performance on tests of short delayed retention and near transfer. In addition, perceived control and spaced practice predicted performance on a test of delayed retention and far transfer. Locus of control did not explain differences in performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-32
Number of pages9
JournalLearning and Instruction
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2013

Keywords

  • Computer assisted learning
  • Learner control
  • Locus of control
  • Practice distribution
  • Spacing effect

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