Supporting self-regulated learning in a hypermedia environment

Hypermedia is a type of computer–based learning environment characterized by hyperlinks that interconnect different pages. Students can navigate in a non-linear manner and follow their own learning path in a hypermedia environment. Therefore, students have a greater degree of learner control in hypermedia learning environment than traditional learning environment. This also means that regulating one’s own learning is important in hypermedia.  Müller and Seufert (2018) examined the effects of prompting self-regulated learning (SRL) on learning performance, self-efficacy, and navigation behavior.

In the experimental group, specific pages of the hypermedia included prompts (i.e., three cognitive and three metacognitive). The prompts were placed under the header of the page and remained visible to the students when they visited or stayed on that page. Results of the study showed that students who were prompted performed better than students who were not prompted in the transfer test in the first learning session only. There were no differences in recall and comprehension test in both learning sessions and transfer test in the second learning session. In terms of self-efficacy, prompted group had higher overall perceived self-efficacy than the not prompted group and in the second learning session. Both the prompted and not prompted group did not differ in the amount of time they spent on relevant pages and the proportion of non-linear navigate steps taken. An interesting finding is that non-linear navigation steps were negatively correlated to transfer test in the second learning session. This suggested that students who performed better in the transfer test regardless of being prompted or not did so after navigating the hypermedia in a linear manner. Müller and Seufert (2018) concluded that prompting students during learning increased students’ perceived self-efficacy across learning sessions.

Previous research suggested that activation of self-regulated learning strategies with prompts increased learning performance. The results in Müller and Seufert’s (2018) study partly supported previous research as increase in performance was only found in transfer test of the second learning session. The authors reasoned that the prompts stimulated processing at deeper levels, as such, learning was only enhanced for transfer test and not recall or comprehension tests. Another reason could be related to the design and content of the prompts. Prompts when delivered as pop-ups in another window or the worded in a different way may have an impact on motivational factors like self-efficacy.


Müller, N. M., & Seufert, T. (2018). Effects of self-regulation prompts in hypermedia learning on learning performance and self-efficacy. Learning and Instruction58, 1-11.

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