, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 235-260
Date: 27 Jun 2013

Internet-specific epistemic beliefs and self-regulated learning in online academic information searching

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Abstract

Epistemic beliefs have been considered as important components of the self-regulatory model; however, their relationships with self-regulated learning processes in the Internet context need further research. The main purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between Internet-specific epistemic belief dimensions and self-regulated learning activities while using the Internet for academic information searching. A total of 758 university students were sampled in this study. Through factor analyses, four dimensions of Internet-specific epistemic beliefs were identified, labeled as certainty of Internet-based knowledge, simplicity of Internet-based knowledge, source of Internet-based knowledge, and justification for Internet-based knowing. Factor analyses also revealed two dimensions of self-regulated learning while using the Internet for academic searching, namely preparatory self-regulated learning (i.e., task definition as well as goal setting and planning) and enactment self-regulated learning (i.e., controlling, monitoring, and reflecting). The results of the structural relationship analysis indicated that the preparatory phase of self-regulated learning positively correlated with Internet-specific epistemic beliefs relating to justification for Internet-based knowing, and was also negatively associated with two other dimensions of Internet-specific epistemic beliefs regarding simplicity of Internet-based knowledge and source of Internet-based knowledge. In addition, preparatory self-regulated learning mediated the relationships between these three dimensions of Internet-specific epistemic beliefs and the enactment phase of self-regulated learning.