The interaction of achievement orientations and content familiarity with hierarchically structured programmes : a dissertation presented in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Education at Massey University
This study attempted to determine the interactive effects of learner characteristics with two differentially but hierarchically structured programmed instructional tasks. The learner characteristics chosen were a subjects' independence and conformance achievement orientations and his prior familiarity with the subject matter. The two programmed texts constructed for the experiment were, 'A Procedural Approach to Introductory Statistics' and 'A Behavioural Approach to Learning'. Both texts were written by the researcher. The point of task differentiation was based on the degree of arbitrariness in the sequence order of criterion competencies; the statistics programme being deemed to be more intrinsically structured and the learning theory programme more extrinsically structured. The results indicated a differential effect of learner characteristic variables between treatments and across tasks. Further, the results indicated both ordinal and disordinal treatment interactions on the dependent measures of criterion achievement, sequence appropriateness and task-related achievement motivation. The effects of instructional treatments were indeed modified by the interaction of tasks and learner characteristics.