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This dissertation investigated the effects of the SOAR study strategy for learning from multiple online resources. SOAR includes the components of Selection, Organization, Association, and Regulation. In past research, the effects of SOAR training were investigated with one online resource and with students studying provided or partially provided materials following training. This dissertation examines the effects of SOAR when learning from multiple online resources and when students create their own study materials following training and thus addresses this research gap. One hundred thirty-four (134) college students were assigned randomly to the control or experimental groups. All students participated in online training in their respective study strategy. Both groups studied the same materials. The experimental group was taught to use SOAR, whereas the control group used their preferred study strategies. Following training, both groups were presented with the same online materials. Participants in the experimental group studied using SOAR and were prompted to take notes and create study materials based on SOAR components. The control group participants studied the material using their preferred study strategies. They created notes and developed study materials of their choice. Both groups were given time to study. Following the study period, participants were tested on the online material with respect to fact, relationship, and concept learning. After testing, all participants completed an attitudinal survey regarding their experiences. Follow-up interviews were conducted with participants from each group in the following five weeks. Results showed that students who use SOAR when learning from multiple online resources score higher on fact, concept, and relationship items and created higher quality study materials than students who followed their preferred study strategies. Findings showed that without instruction, students use ineffective study strategies when learning from multiple online resources. SOAR training changed college students’ study behavior and raised achievement.
Adviser: Allen Steckelberg