A study of the effectiveness of instructional organizers when used in computer-based interactive video instruction

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching and Leadership


Barbara L. Grabowski


Educational software, Curricula, Teaching, Educational psychology, Health education, Interactive learning

Subject Categories



Sixty-one nursing students and faculty were studied to compare participatory pictorial graphic organizers to final form pictorial graphic organizers and advance organizers given as adjunct aids to instruction on computer-based interactive video. The participatory graphic organizer was hypothesized to be more representative of Wittrock's (1974) generative learning hypothesis and to more readily elicit learning and retention of program content than the other forms.

Researcher-developed organizers were used with a commercial CBIV program on the nursing care of elderly cardiac patients. Twenty-four item, multiple choice tests were used as measures of learning from the program. Evidence of any statistically significant difference between treatment means was tested at the 0.10 level of significance using multivariate analysis of variance and Tukey HSD planned contrasts.

The results of this study did not provide evidence to support the application of Wittrock's generative learning hypothesis. It was predicted that the participatory graphic organizer group would outperform both the advance organizer group and the final form graphic organizer group on tests of learning and retention. In all cases, the participatory group achieved the lowest mean scores. Further, the difference between the mean scores of the group receiving the final form graphic organizer (the most effective organizer in this study) and the participatory graphic organizer treatment group was statistically significant at the p $\leq$ 0.01 level on both tests.

Analysis of the program use survey and semi-structured interviews confirmed that the organizers were constructed according to theory. As well, restrictions on note-taking eliminated a confounding factor found in a previous study. However, there is some question whether treatment fidelity was maintained for the participatory graphic organizer treatment and, therefore, if it constituted a generative activity. The effectiveness of the final form graphic organizer treatment likely stemmed from a pervasive feature of the CBIV program design, a guided discovery approach, which appeared to cause considerable disorientation. The final form graphic organizer contained specific information which may have allowed the subjects in that treatment group to successfully navigate these sequences and to concentrate more fully on the content of the program.


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