Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Learning Sciences and Human Development

Committee Chair

Rayne Sperling Dennison.


Given the charge of integrating technology in the medical school curriculum, faculty members are faced with the challenge of designing new materials for their courses. Often, these materials become on-line resources such as hypermedia and electronic communication. Strategies may assist students who are unfamiliar with on-line materials to use such materials more effectively. This study investigated the elaborative interrogation strategy used in conjunction with on-line materials to promote more efficient processing of difficult material. Twenty second-year medical students volunteered to participate in the study. The course in which they were enrolled required the use of an on-line lecture supplement. The elaborative interrogation intervention consisted of a written page of instruction for including "why" questions in their independent study process. The control students were instructed to simply record their study behaviors during the intervention period. Results indicated no significant differences between groups with or without strategy instruction. It is likely that as advanced students, medical students have existing strategies that were as effective as the strategy used during the intervention. As an auxiliary study of the overall effects of using on-line materials, exam scores of the current students were compared to the exam scores of a cohort group from the previous year who did not use on-line materials. The students from the previous year performed significantly better than the students from the current year on a similar examination of content knowledge. It is possible that volunteers in the current study were particularly anxious about using on-line materials due to the timing of the introduction of the strategy and lack of computer experience. Qualitative analysis of student feedback supports these assumptions. Future research should address the issues of timing of the presentation, more effective strategy training, and embedding the strategy instruction to increase student participation.