Date of Graduation


Document Type



This study examined the effects of type of learner control in hypermedia software by learning disabled students. Developmental math students, not categorized as learning disabled, were also included in the study which investigated achievement, attitudes, and perceptions of those students regarding computer-based math word problem solving. Two HyperCard stacks of a tutorial nature were used as the treatment for this research. One stack contained high learner control; the other, low control. The sample included 18 learning disabled students enrolled in various math classes and 18 developmental math students enrolled in Basic Math classes in a small Western Pennsylvania college. Nine of the learning disabled students used high control and nine used low control. The developmental students had the same division (nine using high control; nine, low control). Dependent measures included a pre and post test of 10 math word problems; time (seconds) using the software; and interviews of six learning disabled students. Results did not show a statistically significant difference between the high and low control groups. Path data of user navigation through the software showed that the high control groups used the software as though it were low control; that is, they used a linear path. All groups showed a pre to post gain in achievement, with three of the four statistically significant. Time recorded using the software showed a significant relationship between time and control. The low control groups spent more time using the software than did the high control. Attitudes toward computer-based instruction in general and computer-based math instruction were favorable. Perceptions of ability to solve math word problems were enhanced. Based on the study, curriculum implementation of hypermedia is possible for learning disabled students, with some caution advised. Novice users of hypermedia will most likely take a linear approach to self-directed learning. Instructional design of software should include some avenue for those who need more steps in the learning process. Barring that possibility, some form of acclimating activity for hypermedia use may be necessary.