The Role of Interface Elements in Web-Mediated Interaction and Group Learning: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis

The Role of Interface Elements in Web-Mediated Interaction and Group Learning: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis

Klarissa Ting-Ting Chang (Carnegie Mellon University, USA) and John Lim (National University of Singapore, Singapore)
DOI: 10.4018/jwltt.2006010101
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Abstract

The Web has increasingly become an important avenue of the learning community; nonetheless, it is wanting in terms of effective interaction among learners. This paper posits that a well-designed user interface will capably address limitations of Web-based learning, and enhance team interactions and learning outcomes. It reports on an experiment that investigated the effect of interface elements on a set of interaction processes, attitudes, and learning outcomes. Availability of interface elements to engage and evaluate learning was found to promote participation, trust, and cooperation among learners. How these process variables impacted outcome variables, as intervened by attitudinal factors, was analyzed using structural modeling. Our analysis provided support to a theoretical model that causally links four sets of variables: input (interface elements), processes, attitudes, and learning outcomes. The paper expounds on the implications of the findings, which have significant importance with respect to the emerging issues in Web-based learning.

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