Tracing elementary school students' study tactic use in gStudy by examining strategic and self-regulated learning

Jul 8, 2013, 13:12 PM
Malmberg, J., Jarvenoja, H. & Jarvela, S. (2010). Tracing elementary school students’study tactic use in gStudy by examining strategic and self-regulated learning. Computers in Human Behavior, 26, 1034-1042.


  • Grade/Age Level: 4th grade students aged 10-11
  • Specific Difficulty Addressed: Studying science with hypermedia
  • Type of AT Used: gStudy



  • 20 fourth grade students participated in a 5-week science project involving a gStudy learning environment.
  • gStudy was used as an advanced multimedia learning environment that included content and cognitive tools to support deep learning of content.
  • Specific tools used in this study were notes, concept mapping, and highlighting.
  • Students studied a learning kit, “Vital conditions of life,” with subtopics of water, air, nutrition, heat, light, family, and human rights.
  • Students choose their study topic, starting point and method for using the tools, while the log file trace recorded their activities. Mind maps were created at the end of the unit and evaluated on a 0-4 point scale.
  • The gStudy sessions were evaluated based on situational and individual level use characteristics.


  •  During the 5-week intervention, students logged on to gStudy 172 times.
  • The gStudy sessions which were used infrequently were not used in an identifiable pattern.
  • The gStudy sessions which were used moderately showed 5 learning patterns, with each session including making notes in a concept map, but not necessarily linking notes.
  • The gStudy sessions that were frequently used showed 2,374 learning patterns, which included the tactics of Labeling: Important information (frequency=1871); Labeling: Interesting detail (f=1842); Making notes in concept maps (f=1818); Linking notes in concept maps (f=1268); Labeling: I don’t understand (f=4), and Making new concept maps (f=2).
  • For 8 students, moderate tactic use was most common. For 3 other students, frequent use was most common. For 3 other students, infrequent use was the most common and for the four remaining students, there was no typical pattern of use. -Student mind mapping scores ranged from 2 (f=6) to 4 (f=5), but the most common score was 3 (f=9).
  • There was a reverse relationship between the frequency of implementing study tactics and student scores on the mind mapping evaluation. Students who infrequently used study tactics, obtained the highest scores, followed by those who used tactics moderately, and the lowest scoring group was those that used tactics most frequently.
  • Various students used different study tactics to varying degrees. Frequent study tactic use was not automatically linked to deep learning.
  • The findings of this study may indicate that novice learners do not know how to effectively use study tactics and use a reactive approach.
  • STEM