Volume 10, Issue 2, Summer 2011

Internet Activities and Developmental Predictors: Gender Differences Among Digital Natives

Genevieve Marie Johnson
Curtin University


Widespread adoption of the Internet during the past two decades has produced the first generation of digital natives. Ninety-five children (Mage = 10.4 years) completed a questionnaire that measured three clusters of variables: 1) Internet use at home and school, 2) peer, school, and home self-esteem, 3) and cognitive abilities (planning, attention, and simultaneous and successive processing. There were no gender differences in school-based Internet use and only one gender difference in home-based use. Girls were significantly more likely than boys to report using email at home. Cognitive scores predicted girls’ email use at home and website access at school. Self-esteem and cognitive scores predicted boys email use at home and school and online gaming at school. From a developmental perspective, Internet use may benefit girls more than boys because of gender differences in orientation to the Internet (i.e., accomplishment versus recreation). Although girls used email more than boys, of the current sample of digital natives, boys who used email were brighter and more popular than boys who did not use email.

Communication Privacy Disclosure Management: An Empirical study of socialization support in a Pseudo-Online Course

Misook Heo
Duquesne University


This study investigated the boundaries of online learners' information disclosure, relationship building, interpersonal integration, and motivation by drawing upon the theoretical frameworks of the social information processing and communication privacy management theories and the hyperpersonal model. A total of 103 students from a higher education institution participated in the study. Results indicated that participants were willing to share their social information with others, but in varying degrees depending on the audiences, indicating that they were balancing privacy and disclosure as described in the communication privacy management theory. It was also witnessed that participants not only concealed sensitive information, but also in some cases fabricated them as explained in the hyperpersonal Model. The use of the experimental communication privacy and disclosure management system, however, did not affect participants’ interpersonal integration and motivation, thus it failed to support the social information processing theory. Overall, considering the fact that today’s students are conscious about their social information disclosure and are willing to share information, a systematic approach to social information sharing that will facilitate online learning communities is recommended.


Self-Explanation Prompts on Problem-Solving Performance in an Interactive Learning Environment

Kyungbin Kwon
Christiana D. Kumalasari
Jane L. Howland
University of Missouri


This study examined the effects of self-explanation prompts on problem-solving performance. In total, 47 students were recruited and trained to debug web-program code in an online learning environment. Students in an open self-explanation group were asked to explain the problem cases to themselves, whereas a complete other-explanation group was provided with partial explanations and asked to complete them by choosing correct key-words. The results indicate that students in the open self-explanation condition (a) outperformed in a debugging task, (b) perceived higher confidence for their explanations, and (c) showed a strong positive relationship between the quality of their explanation and their performance. These results demonstrate the benefits of the open self-explanation prompts. Cognitive load of self-explanation and quality of explanation are discussed.

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