Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

2012 Edition
| Editors: Norbert M. Seel

Learner Control

  • Ali SimsekEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_372



Learner control refers to instructional strategies through which learners can exercise some level of control over the events of instruction. It means that learners make their own decisions regarding the sequence, pace, flow, amount, and review of instruction. Allowing learners control their own learning process implies that instructional control is handed over to learners in order to accommodate their individual differences toward the purpose of maximizing their gains.

Instruction is considered to be more externally controlled when the learner follows a predetermined/fixed sequence without any control over the lesson. On the other hand, instruction is thought to be more internally controlled in settings where the learner exercises certain amount of control over the contingencies of a lesson (Hannafin 1984).

In learner-controlled instructional situations, the designer often...

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  1. Hannafin, M. J. (1984). Guidelines for using locus of instructional control in the design of computer-assisted instruction. Journal of Instructional Development, 7(3), 6–10.Google Scholar
  2. Lebow, D. (1993). Constructivist values for instructional systems design: Five principles toward a new mindset. Educational Technology Research and Development, 41(3), 4–16.Google Scholar
  3. Simsek, A. (1993). The effects of learner control and group composition on student performance, interaction, and attitudes during computer-based cooperative learning. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.Google Scholar
  4. Steinberg, E. R. (1989). Cognition and learner control: A literature review, 1977–1988. Journal of Computer-Based Instruction, 16(4), 117–124.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Communication SciencesAnadolu UniversityEskisehirTurkey