The purpose of this study was to investigate the process used by learners to seek, locate, and integrate information resources for use in a project-based environment. Four cases (n=9) were analyzed from an introductory educational technology course during a unit on telecommunications. Participants were asked to generate projects for integrating the Internet into the curriculum. Within this project-based context, learners searched for information resources that would accompany their project ideas. Three major findings related to use of hypermedia systems during project-based learning are discussed: (a) progressing from data-driven to goal-driven approaches was critical to developing coherent project ideas; (b) consolidation of information resources with project methods and rationales was challenging for learners, often resulting in topic "drifts" or idea simplification; and (c) metacognitive, domain, and system knowledge appeared critical to achieving coherence in project development. Implications related to the role of instructional scaffolding in encouraging goal-driven and metacognitive processing during open-ended learning are considered.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes