Guidance provides trainees with the information necessary to make effective use of the learner control inherent in technology-based training, but also allows them to retain a sense of control over their learning (Bell & Kozlowski, 2002). One challenge, however, is determining how much learner control, or autonomy, to build into the guidance strategy. We examined the effects of alternative forms of guidance (autonomy supportive vs. controlling) on trainees’ learning and performance, and examined trainees’ cognitive ability and motivation to learn as potential moderators of these effects. Consistent with our hypotheses, trainees receiving adaptive guidance had higher levels of knowledge and performance than trainees in a learner control guidance. Controlling guidance had the most consistent positive impact on the learning outcomes, while autonomy supportive guidance demonstrated utility for more strategic outcomes. In addition, guidance was generally more effective for trainees with higher levels of cognitive ability and autonomy guidance served to enhance the positive effects of motivation to learn on the training outcomes.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/bradford_bell/7/