Cogntive Schemas in Web-based Learning Environments: Effects of Instant Messaging Interruptions on Undergraduates

K.K. Wijekumar, K. Garlitz, D. Hartman, J. Lyon, M. Shaffer, and A. Thompson (USA)


Interruptions, Cognitive Schema, Hypertext, Transfer, Comprehension, Web-Based Learning


Web-based learning environments contain expository texts full of domain knowledge that has to be read and synthesized by the students. While the students are reading and trying to comprehend the information, they are frequently interrupted by synchronous communication tools like instant messaging. This paper presents research on comprehension of expository texts in on-line environments when interrupted frequently by instant messages and chat rooms. Results show a lack of organization in memory and missing important parts of texts when undergraduate students are frequently interrupted during reading.

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