Can low domain knowledge be compensated for when using the internet? /
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Previous researchers have found that learners do not benefit fi-om using the Internet when domain knowledge is low. The purpose of the current study was to investigate possible methods to compensate for low domain knowledge. Specifically, the presence of notes, more time to search the Internet, and high levels of motivation to use the Internet were examined as possible compensating factors. Sixty Political Science and Kinesiology undergraduate students were randomly assigned to one of three conditions. Students searched the Internet for an hour prior to vmting an essay with notes present, searched the Internet for an hour prior to writing an essay without notes present, or did not search the Internet prior to completing an essay. Each participant completed the same two essays, one corresponding to a high knowledge domain and another corresponding to a low knowledge domain. First, the presence of notes did not significantly improve essay scores in comparison to the absence of notes. Second, learners did benefit fi-om using the Internet for 1 hour in comparison to their peers who were not exposed to the Internet, regardless of level of domain knowledge. Third, high levels of motivation did not affect essay performance. A discussion of why time may have compensated for low domain knowledge while notes and motivation did not is included. In addition, methods that may compensate for low domain knowledge when time is restricted are suggested.