Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Online Metacognitive Strategies, Hypermedia Annotations, and Motivation on Hypertext Comprehension

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Online Metacognitive Strategies, Hypermedia Annotations, and Motivation on Hypertext Comprehension

Article excerpt


With the rapid growth of computer technology, computer-based instruction has become an instructional tool to motivate English as a foreign language (EFL) learners to read autonomously. Thus, some printed texts are designed as hypertexts for helping EFL learners to search for and comprehend materials in a timely manner using computer-assisted functions (Wang, Kinzie, McGuire & Pan, 2010). Hypertext often incorporates multimedia features into linked texts and presents information in various forms of media such as pictures, audio, video, animation, or graphic annotations. Thus, the terms of hypertext and hypermedia are often used interchangeably (Akyel & Ergetin, 2009).

Previous studies have demonstrated that the effective use of metacognitive strategies has been recognized as an important means to increase hypertext comprehension because learners can actively monitor their progress, determine where problems exist, adjust their learning strategies, and make decisions regarding which annotations they should access during reading (Akyel & Ergetin, 2009; Huang, Chern, & Lin, 2009; Lan, Lo, & Hsu, 2014). However, not all EFL learners have the essential knowledge and skills to master effective metacognitive reading strategies to relate to a text (Chen et al., 2011).

Individual differences regarding how often learners access various built-in annotation tools and whether these tools assist in the lower-level process of understanding individual words (and ultimately, the higher-level process of text comprehension) have been noted (Chun, 2001). In addition, some studies have shown that learners can control the use of annotation by choosing what to view as well as selecting the number of viewing times and the duration (Chang & Ho, 2009). According to Moos and Marroquin (2010), control gives learners the opportunity to make decisions and to affect reading outcomes, resulting in more confidence and greater intrinsic motivation. Tsai and Tsai (2003) found that students with high motivation had better information searching strategies and learned more than those with low motivation. Although it has been reported that disorientation is a motivational problem that learners tend to have while navigating within a hypertext environment and that metacognitive processing skills can determine a successful search on the Internet, the evidence of previous research is inconclusive with regard to the effects of metacognitive strategies and annotation applications on the development of EFL hypertext comprehension (Ariew & Ercetin, 2004). Moreover, few empirical studies have explored the possibility that motivation acts as a mediator variable with online metacognitive strategies, hypermedia annotations, and hypertext learning outcomes.

Given its importance in a learner-controlled hypertext environment, it is essential to understand the factors that influence the extent to which EFL learners engage in metacognitive strategy use, hypermedia annotations, and learning motivation on hypertext comprehension. Previous studies have not revealed whether metacognitive strategies and hypermedia annotations can influence learning motivation and whether these three factors can facilitate hypertext comprehension (Sakar & Ercetin, 2005). It is assumed that these three antecedents are likely to influence EFL students' hypertext comprehension performance, and motivation is a mediator between metacognitive strategies, hypermedia annotations, and hypertext comprehension.

Literature review

Hypertext comprehension

Hypertext is defined as an analog to traditional reading environments in which documents are presented on a computer screen, and learners can decide which hyperlink to access during the hypertext learning process (Moos & Marroquin, 2010). Within a document, elements of the apparatus, such as definitions of terms, glossaries, annotations, and references can all be hyperlinked to provide readers with additional information for text comprehension (Chou, 2012). …

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