Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

R. Kenton Denny


The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between different instructional delivery systems (learner-control versus instructor-control) and the acquisition and application of subject matter by teacher candidates. Further, self-directed teaming and student ability are utilized to predict student outcomes. Prior technology ability and student ability and learner-controlled sequencing events during a Web-based lesson are also analyzed for predicting student outcomes. Finally, teaming and assessment time of subjects in the learner-control group are measured. Undergraduate and graduate students (N = 99) enrolled in an undergraduate language arts course participated in the study. Subjects in the learner-control group teamed about early literacy utilizing a Web-based lesson. Subjects in the instructor-control group were taught the same content but by lecture. All subjects were administered a pretest and posttest developed by the primary investigator. Additionally, subjects completed the Self-Directed Learning Readiness Scale (Guglielmino, 1977), and the Profiler Survey: Basic Technology Skills Checklist (SCRTEC, 1999). Learning and assessment time were recorded for subjects in the learner-control group. Results indicated that there was little increase in mastery between the pretest and posttest scores for subjects in the learner and instructor-control groups. Neither self-directed learning readiness and prior ability contributed to predicting learner outcomes. Prior technology ability, student ability, and learner-controlled sequencing events during the Web-based lesson also failed to predict student mastery. Subjects in one class section spent significantly more time on learning and assessment than their peers in the other class section of the learner-control group. Instructional delivery systems may not be the determining factor that influences student outcomes. Instructional design as opposed to mode of delivery is probably the more pressing issue to be addressed. In addressing learner-control, course designers might begin with tighter instructional control and gradually introduce learner-control activities over time. This developmental approach may allow students to become more comfortable with Web instruction and learner-control.