• THINKING ABOUT ONLINE SOURCES: EXPLORING STUDENTS' EPISTEMIC COGNITION IN INTERNET-BASED CHEMISTRY LEARNING

      Cromley, Jennifer; Kaplan, Avi; Davey, Adam; Booth, Julie L.; Lombardi, Doug, 1965- (Temple University. Libraries, 2014)
      This dissertation investigated the relation between epistemic cognition-epistemic aims and source beliefs-and learning outcome in an Internet-based research context. Based on a framework of epistemic cognition (Chinn, Buckland, & Samarapungavan, 2011), a context-specific epistemic aims and source beliefs questionnaire (CEASBQ) was developed and administered to 354 students from college-level introductory chemistry courses. A series of multitrait-multimethod model comparisons provided evidence for construct convergent and discriminant validity for three epistemic aims-true beliefs, justified beliefs, explanatory connection, which were all distinguished from, yet correlated with, mastery goals. Students' epistemic aims were specific to the chemistry topics in research. Multidimensional scaling results indicated that students' source evaluation was based on two dimensions-professional expertise and first-hand knowledge, suggesting a multidimensional structure of source beliefs. Most importantly, online learning outcome was found to be significantly associated with two epistemic aims-justified beliefs and explanatory connection: The more students sought justifications in the online research, the lower they tended to score on the learning outcome measure, whereas the more students sought explanatory connections between information, the higher they scored on the outcome measure. There was a significant but small positive association between source beliefs and learning outcome. The influences of epistemic aims and source beliefs on learning outcome were found to be above and beyond the effects of a number of covariates, including prior knowledge and perceived ability with online sources.