Learner preferences and achievement under differing amounts of learner practice

  • Heidi L. Schnackenberg
  • Howard J. Sullivan
  • Lars F. Leader
  • Elizabeth E. K. Jones


This study examined the effects of program mode (i.e., a lean program version containing a basic amount of learner practice vs. a full mode containing expanded practice) and learner preference (matched or unmatched) for amount of practice on the achievement, time-in-program, and attitudes of university undergraduate students. Subjects completed a 10-item Likert-type prequestionnaire to indicate the amount of practice they preferred, then were randomly assigned to either the type of program they preferred or to the opposite type. Subjects who used the full version of the instructional program scored significantly higher on the posttest than those who used the lean version. Matching subjects to their preferred amount of practice did not yield a significant achievement difference over assigning subjects to their less-preferred amount. Subjects preferred the lean version of the program over the full one, even though the full version produced better test performance.


Undergraduate Student Educational Technology Good Test Program Mode Program Version 
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Copyright information

© the Association for Educational Communications and Technology 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heidi L. Schnackenberg
    • 1
  • Howard J. Sullivan
    • 2
  • Lars F. Leader
    • 2
  • Elizabeth E. K. Jones
    • 2
  1. 1.the Concordia University Department of Education in QuebecCanada
  2. 2.the Department of Psychology in Education at Arizona State UniversityUSA

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