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Enhancing Learning From Online Resources with SOAR Study Strategies

Tareq Daher (University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA)
Session Information
October 14, 2015 - 2:45pm
Learning Effectiveness
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Practical Application
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Research Study
Institutional Level: 
Universities and Four Year Institutions
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Northern Hemisphere A2
Session Duration: 
45 Minutes
Concurrent Session 3

Learn the effects of using research based SOAR study strategies for learning from multiple online resources. SOAR raised students' achievement when learning from online resource.

Extended Abstract

This mixed methods study investigated the effects of the SOAR study strategy for learning from multiple online resources. SOAR includes the components of S: selection, O:organization, A: association, and R: regulation. SOAR is linked to information processing theory and deployed as a developed as a remedy for the ineffective study strategies students commonly employ. SOAR aids the cognitive learning processes of attention, encoding, storage, and metacognition.

Past research confirmed that students who study provided or partially provided SOAR materials achieved more than students using their preferred study methods when learning from a single printed or computer-based text.

The present study was the first to investigate SOAR when students learn from multiple online resources and create their own study materials. One hundred thirty-four college students were assigned randomly to the preferred strategy control group or the SOAR strategy experimental group. Following a pre-survey and online training in their respective study strategy, both groups were directed to use their trained strategy to study scientific material available on multiple websites. Following the study period, participants were tested on the online material with respect to fact, relationship, and concept performance and then completed a post-survey. Achievement results showed that students trained in SOAR scored higher on fact, relationship, and concept items.

Analysis of study materials confirmed that those trained in SOAR created study materials consistent with SOAR training and superior to those who used preferred methods. Survey data confirmed that (a) most students are required to learn from multiple online sources but few receive training for doing so, (b) untrained students use weak strategies for online learning, and (c) students have positive attitudes about SOAR training and its use.

In summary, SOAR training materials were relatively simple to create, required little training time for students, improved strategy use, and raised achievement. Given these positive outcomes, it has practical applications for college instructors whose assignments involve learning from multiple websites, students looking to enhance their study strategies, and college-wide instructional technology specialists or learning center personnel to help all students study multiple online materials more effectively.

Lead Presenter

Tareq Daher earned his Bachelors in Computer Science from Mutah University in Jordan. He pursued a Masters of Instructional Technology at the University of NebraskaÐLincoln while working as the coordinator for the student technology program on the UNL campus. Currently, he works as the Instructional Design Technology Coordinator for the College of Engineering at UNL under the Office of Online and Distance Education. He Manages, coordinates, monitors, implements, and assesses a wide range of course redesign and communication initiatives within the College of Engineering, aligning with College and University strategic academic goals. In addition, he consults with and supports faculty and staff of the College integrating innovative pedagogy and emerging technologies into classes to improve teaching and learning outcomes. He conducts research in partnership with College faculty on impact of integration strategies, teaching about and publishing on the learning that results.