The project is part of the junior research group "Cognitive control of exploration and exploitation in interactive multimedia learning" of the research cluster D²L² "Digitalization, Diversity and Lifelong Learning - Consequences for Higher Education" at the FernUniversität in Hagen.

Project leads: Dr. Fang Zhao

Project duration: April 2021 through June 2024

Cognitive control of exploration and exploitation in interactive multimedia learning

In interactive multimedia learning with modern web-based technologies, learners need to balance their time between (a) processing information from known sources by available strategies and (b) investing time in seeking potential new sources of information and trying new ways to process it. It is the exploration-exploitation dilemma, which is as one of the most fundamental problem of human control of action and learning. For a long time, transferring from laboratory paradigms to real-world task was a hard step to take. While the controlling of this balance had been unobservable in the times of paper-based libraries and learning, online-based learning allows to (1) experimentally manipulate candidate factors influencing the balance between exploration and exploitation in natural settings that nevertheless allow for high levels of experimental control and to (2) track learning processes and outcomes. This research group aims to scrutinize how learners control the exploration-exploitation dilemma. It further aims to provide the bases for adaptive support of learners by predicting which events alter their processing strategies.

Research Team Members