This study has raised interesting possibilities for the
researcher. Several of these follow.
- This study indicates that interface designs for
electronic textbooks can positively or negatively affect
learners as demonstrated in this study's T-P learning
orientation and C-R learning orientation dichotomy.
Learning orientation and the impact of the
"book" metaphor described by this study point
toward new opportunities to expand knowledge of how
learners interact with electronic text environments such
as an electronic textbook. For example, to what degree
can a metaphor such as the "book" metaphor used
in this study provide a structured learning environment
need by the C-R group? Another question to be addressed
is learner preference for a particular interface design.
Given a choice between interface design metaphors, would
a similar pattern of preference as expressed by the T-P
and C-R groups hold?
- The novice nature of the population that was the focus of
this study should not be considered a typical university
level population. In that regard it would be interesting
to see the study repeated with different groups; for
example, more traditional university populations and
non-traditional university populations. With respect to
older non-traditional university populations, is age a
factor that impacts learner preference and attitudes
toward an electronic textbook? How are learning
orientations distributed in older student populations? Do
learning orientations interact with gender and electronic
textbook interface designs? These are some of the
directions that can advance the information gain by the
- Gender preferences were suggested with regard to
treatment designs. This variable was not initially part
of the study's design. However, this area should be of
interest and further investigation initiated,
particularly with a gender bias being indicated with
regard to preference for the two electronic textbook
designs and regarding self-efficacy in downloading and
manipulating multimedia in the electronic textbook
- Better definition of the variables and subscales used in
this study is in order. Specifically, the ETAM attitude
measure instrument and the ETSES self-efficacy instrument
would benefit from more items that provide a more
complete representation of the electronic textbook tasks.
- The post-treatment achievement instrument was given after
the participants had completed the ETAM survey. The
elapsed time varied between 10 to 15 minutes between the
end of the en-route task and the participant beginning of
the post-treatment assessment instrument. It would be
interesting to test achievement over a longer time frame.
In particular this aspect of the study would benefit from
a larger sample size and possibly a larger question pool.
Increased sample size (population) would also increase
overall reliability and statistical power (Gall, et al.,
1996). Future studies would also benefit from repeated
measures such as attitudes and self-efficacy before and
after treatments to determine the extent, if any,
electronic textbook interface designs have on these and
other affective and conative constructs.
- The possibility that a "metaphor" such as a 3-D
book can restrict learning space by creating a more
structured environment is intriguing. A controlled
approach to confirm this possibility is needed. Many
possibilities for designs using the learning orientation
construct as a diagnostic tool could then be pursued.
- How do cognitive styles and learning styles compare to
learning orientations? Do these cognitive constructs
overlap with the conative learning orientation construct?
A comparative study within the context of the electronic
textbook environment could provide further insights into
relationships between affect, conation, and cognition. 8.
Finally, the bottom-line for any instruction or
instructional design is whether it is used by the
stakeholder. In this study, emphasis was place on the
importance of learner preference for a particular
electronic textbook interface design. However, the
learner was not given the opportunity to make his or her
preference known prior to the study. Other variables that
pertain to stakeholder preference may be considered in an