Multimedia technology presents several options to the developers of computer-based learning environments. For instance, it is common to organize information by its physical characteristics. However, organizize information based on how users understand the material might improve comprehension. This theory of cognitive media – media organized by cognitive characteristics – was examined in studies using the AlgoNet system, a multimedia learning environment (Recker, Ram, Shikano, Li, & Stasko, 1995). To explore several interface options, AlgoNet2, a second version of AlgoNet, was created with the same domain information, but several new interface concepts. Students in an introductory programming class used AlgoNet2 to solve a problem involving graph theory. Students’ performance and comments suggest that many students lack effective learning strategies and those that do employ effective learning strategies are unaware of them.
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