Master of Science in Industrial Engineering (MSIE)


Industrial Engineering

Document Type



During an informative learning process, information, material, facts and ideas are typically conveyed in a linear arrangement. Individuals are frequently distracted during this process with their attention being diverted to an interruption (Internet, phone call, etc). When presented with any new information, the mind evolves through problem solving and evaluation procedures. The way in which that information is processed and perceived depends on: (a) original presentation (b) examination of material and (c) an individualistic measurement of success. However, when faced with an interruption, the person is forced to deal with non-linear arrangement of information. This research investigates nonlinear presentation or seeking of material and the effects in optimizing memory retention. This study (1) analyzed the cognitive consequences of non-linear forms of information paths in comparison to standard/linear paths (2) investigated the user's knowledge acquisition and control through non-linear paths during navigation while being interrupted; and, (3) determine how this non-linear presentation of instructions effect the overall learning experience. The research specifically focused on the performance levels under one of four conditions (procedural/segmented, procedural/non-segmented, non-procedural/segmented, or non-procedural/non-segmented) while interacting with a distributed web-based learning environment. The population of this study included 62 college students taking a 20 minute web-based session. Each student completed a background questionnaire, video assessment questionnaire, working memory test, work load test, a comprehension test and a learning style test. The workload test given was the NASA-TLX which examines the "workload" experienced during the web-based session. The learning styles test was the Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT), which classified participants as either field independent or dependent. There was no significance in user performance levels between procedural / non-procedural tasks and segmented / non-segmented video types (p=0.1224). However, when comparing the means for each task type and technology type that procedural / segmented seemed to perform much higher than that of the other groups. There was marginal significance for performance level depending on individual learning styles (p=0.0838).



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Craig M. Harvey