Date of Award

Summer 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Director

Richard N. Landers

Committee Member

Konstantin Cigularov

Committee Member

Cathy Lau-Barraco


Past learner control research has shown discrepant findings for hypothesized learning outcomes. In order to shed light on these inconsistent findings, this study investigated adult learners' use of learner control features in an online training program, and examined the usage in relation to individual differences. A sample of participants recruited from a crowd sourcing website was given a high level of learner control, and their progress was tracked as they completed an online Microsoft Excel training program. It was hypothesized that learner behavior during training partially mediated the relationship between individual differences and learning outcomes in a high learner control training environment. Results indicated that the relationship between cognitive ability and learning outcomes was partially mediated by the usage of learner control features. Hypotheses regarding other individual differences were generally unsupported, possibly due to the context of the study: a voluntary training program completed by adults who were compensated with a relatively small amount of money. Future research on learner control should be conducted on employee samples or in-person.


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