A comparison of embedded links and question links in cognitive flexibility hypertext (CFH) learning environments for problem solving in engineering ethics
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] In the present study, two CFH were designed in combination with ethical problem-solving guidelines. Two types of links, embedded links and question links, were used to foster crisscrossing navigation of the CFH and enhance performance in problem solving in engineering ethics. The main purpose of the study was two-fold: (a) Determine if the two types of links, question and embedded, differ significantly in promoting students' engineering ethical problem solving performance and on usage of website; (b) Determine if epistemological beliefs and moral judgment influence students' engineering ethical problem solving performance. Results indicated there were significant differences in ethical problem solving performance between the two groups who used two CFH. The question link and embedded link groups used the three cases similarly, however, question links were more frequently used than the embedded links, and in the question link group, a significantly larger number of participants used the question links. The influence of the use of question links and embedded links on participants' performance was different as well. Results also indicated that epistemological development was not a significant predictor for ethical problem solving performance in the two groups; while participants' moral reasoning skills did not influence ethical problem solving performance in the question link group, for the embedded link group, both P scores and N2 scores were significant predictors for total case analysis scores.
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