Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Russell F. West

Committee Members

Louise L. MacKay, Russell O. Mays, William K. Hemphill


This purpose of this study was to determine if a significant difference existed in the short-term knowledge retention of college freshmen reading informational stimulus materials presented through one of three different text display modes; 1) traditional printed text, 2) computer-displayed linear text, and 3) computer-displayed hypertext. The sample consisted of 267 college freshmen at a southern regional university. The 267 students were randomly selected from the entire population of entering freshmen during Fall 2002. These students were then randomly assigned to one of the three treatment groups. After reading the stimulus materials for a specified amount of time, students completed a multiple-choice knowledge-based test that was designed by the researcher.

Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to compare scores on the knowledge test across the three different treatment groups. The analysis showed a significant difference in the scores of students in the computer-displayed hypertext and traditional printed text groups, with those reading traditional printed text scoring higher. There was also a main effect for gender, with females scoring higher on the knowledge test than males. There was no significant gender by text display method interaction These findings support the relative efficacy of presenting information to college students in a traditional printed text format under similar conditions.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.