The quality of the assignment matters in hypermedia learning

Cindy Paans* (Corresponding Author), Eliane Segers, Inge Molenaar, Ludo Verhoeven

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
76 Downloads (Pure)


In the present study, we investigated whether online learning behaviours (navigation and writing activities) mediated the relation between learner characteristics (prior knowledge, vocabulary knowledge, working memory, and motivation) and declarative knowledge. Specifically, we investigated whether the quality of participants' written assignments could further explain this relation. For this purpose, 62 fifth-grade children participated in a WebQuest hypermedia assignment on the subject of the heart. Results showed that online learning behaviours did not mediate the relations between learner characteristics and declarative knowledge when the assignment quality was not included in the model. Adding assignment quality, however, revealed two serial mediation models. Prior knowledge predicted declarative knowledge via the writing activity “copying behaviour” and assignment quality, and vocabulary knowledge predicted declarative knowledge via the navigation activity “time spent on assignment pages” and assignment quality. These results show the importance of taking into account assignment quality when investigating knowledge acquisition in hypermedia environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)853-862
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of computer assisted learning
Issue number6
Early online date20 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Navigation activities
  • Online learning behaviour
  • Primary education
  • Self-regulated learning
  • Hypermedia

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