Lohr, Linda

Committee Member

Pugh, Kevin

Committee Member

Bauer, Jeffrey

Committee Member

Gall, James


Education, Curriculum and Instruction


University of Northern Colorado

Type of Resources


Place of Publication

Greeley (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created





184 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


This single subject case study followed a high school student and his use of a simulation of marine ecosystems. The study examined his metaworld, motivation, and learning before, during and after using the simulation. A briefing was conceptualized based on the literature on pre-instructional activities, advance organizers, and performance objectives. The briefing was a series of formal lessons before the participant began to use the simulation for the purposes of learning. The research questions focused on how the briefing influenced the participant's metaworld, self-efficacy, goal orientation, prerequisite knowledge, and the themes that emerged from the data, which helped explain how the briefing influenced the participant's learning. Results centered on four themes: (a) unanticipated or desired goal orientation; (b) perceptions of self-efficacy; (c) perceptions of quality work; and (d) lack of responsiveness. The literature on goal orientation and self-efficacy was used to explain and unite the themes. The data suggested that the participant's performance-avoidance goal mediated between his high self-efficacy and low performance. Also, in cases where the participant has a performance-avoidance goal, the briefing may have no influence on iv learning with a simulation. Lastly, the briefing may be defined in two ways: informal and formal. Future research could examine how metaworld can be formed outside of a formal briefing, and how prior experiences influence the formation of metaworld, goal orientation, and self-efficacy when learning with simulations. Researchers could also examine ways to strengthen a weak metaworld that does not inspire the learner to explore the simulation. Another area for future research is how goal orientation and self-efficacy influence the formation of metaworld.

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Copyright is held by author.