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The Impact of Instructional Conceptions on the Use of Adjunct Aids
Jan Elen and L. Philip Louw

Studies on the effects of adjunct aids have generated mixed results. The lack of learners’ (adequate) use of adjunct aids has been argued to be one of the major reasons for these mixed results. This study investigates the factors that affect the first step in using aids, i.e. paying attention to them. It is explored whether students’ instructional conceptions, more specifically conceived functionality of adjunct aids, affect their use, or whether features of the aids themselves are more influential. After assessing students’ instructional conceptions, 255 participants randomly distributed over one control condition or seven experimental conditions studied an instructional text on a computer screen. Conditions differ with respect to the number and nature of adjunct aids. The access of the adjunct aids was monitored. Results show no impact of conceived functionality. The number and type of aids inserted, however, seems to affect the frequency adjunct aids are accessed as well as the proportion of the total study time devoted to the adjunct aids.

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