Metacognitive Online Reading and Navigational Strategies by Science and Technology University Students

Ruhil Amal Azmuddin, Nor Fariza Mohd Nor, Afendi Hamat


Reading has taken a new dimension, where students in higher institutions are consistently required to read massive amounts of online materials to gain knowledge, complete tasks and assignments. Hence, the ability to read online effectively is becoming increasingly important, as students need to utilize, understand and respond to online materials. However, most university undergraduates lack the ability to read effectively and critically. Therefore, the present study examines university students’ metacognitive online reading strategies and navigational strategies in reading English Science and Technology hypertexts for academic purposes. Data were collected through an online survey among 55 Science and Technology students in a public university situated in the east coast of peninsular Malaysia to identify the most frequent metacognitive online reading strategies used by the students. The survey revealed that students used problem-solving strategies the most followed by global and support reading strategies. Out of the same sample, 12 students were purposively selected to be a part of qualitative data collection on navigational strategies that was conducted through individual screen recordings captured through a screen recording software. The software recorded the on-screen activities while students were using an interactive reading system named iREAD; Interactive Reading for Academic Disciplines. Based on the screen recordings, it can be observed that students mostly used mixed overview strategies followed by serial overview strategies, and serial navigational strategies when reading online materials. The findings concluded the need to teach students metacognitive awareness in order to read online materials successfully to make learning more efficient, meaningful and beneficial.




metacognitive online reading strategies; navigational strategies; English for Specific Purposes; English for Science and Technology; higher institutions

Full Text:



Afendi Hamat, Nor Fariza Mohd Nor, Hazita Azman, Nadzrah Abu Bakar, & Noorizah Mohd Noor. (2010). I-ELLS: A Research-Based Design For An Online Interactive Literacy System. International Journal Of Education And Information Technologies. Vol. 4(3), 165-173.

Akyel, A., & Erçetin, G. (2009). Hypermedia Reading Strategies Employed by Advanced Learners of English. System. Vol. 37(1), 136-152. doi:

Amadieu, F., Tricot, A., & Mariné, C. (2009). Prior Knowledge in Learning From a Non-linear Electronic Document: Disorientation and Coherence of the Reading Sequences. Computers in Human Behavior. Vol. 25(2), 381-388. doi:

Anderson, N. J. (2003). Scrolling, Clicking, and Reading English: Online Reading Strategies in a Second/Foreign Language. Reading Matrix: An International Online Journal. Vol. 3(3), 1-33.

Ansarimoghaddam, S., Tan, B. H., & Yong, M. F. (2017). Collaboratively Composing an Argumentative Essay: Wiki versus Face-to-face Interactions. GEMA Online® Journal of Language Studies. Vol. 17(2), 33-53.

Carrell, P. L., Devine, J., & Eskey, D. E. (1988). Interactive Approaches to Second Language Reading. Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge Unversity Press.

Creswell, J. W., & Plano Clark, V. L. (2011). Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research (2nd ed.). Los Angeles: SAGE Publications.

Devine, J., Carrell, P. L., & Eskey, D. E. (1987). Research in Reading in English as a Second Language. Washington, D.C.: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.

Dunaway, M. K. (2011). Connectivism: Learning Theory and Pedagogical Practice for Networked Information Landscapes. Reference Services Review. Vol. 39(4), 675-685. doi:10.1108/00907321111186686

Eghlidi, M., Abdorrahimzadeh, S. J., & Sorahi, M. A. (2014). Metacognitive Online Reading Strategies Among Graduate Students: Does the Proficiency Level Make a Difference? Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods. Vol. 4(4), 57-70.

Goldie, J. G. S. (2016). Connectivism: a Knowledge Learning Theory for the Digital Age? Medical Teacher. Vol. 38(10), 1064-1069. doi:10.3109/0142159X.2016.1173661

Herold, B. (2014). Q&A: Judging Online vs. Offline Reading Skills (02774232). Retrieved from login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=99080829&site=eds-live&scope=site

Huang, H.-c., Chern, C.-l., & Lin, C.-c. (2009). EFL Learners’ Use of Online Reading Strategies and Comprehension of Texts. An Exploratory Study. Computers & Education. Vol. 52(1), 13-26.


Lan, Y.-C., Lo, Y.-L., & Hsu, Y.-S. (2014). The Effects of Meta-Cognitive Instruction on Students' Reading Comprehension in Computerized Reading Contexts: A Quantitative Meta-Analysis. Journal of Educational Technology & Society. Vol. 17(4), 186-202.

Madrid, R. I., Van Oostendorp, H., & Puerta Melguizo, M. C. (2009). The Effects of the Number of Links and Navigation Support on Cognitive Load and Learning With Hypertext: the Mediating Role of Reading Order. Computers in Human Behavior. Vol. 25(1), 66-75.


Nor Fariza Mohd Nor, Afendi Hamat, Hazita Azman, Noorizah Mohd Noor, & Vengadasamy, R. (2014, 13-14 November 2014). Application of Collaborative Learning Theory as a Learning Feature in iREAD UKM: A Conceptual Framework. Paper presented at the ICT for Language Learning, Florence, Italy.

Nor Fariza Mohd Nor, Hazita Azman, & Afendi Hamat. (2013). Investigating Students' Use of Online Annotation Tool in an Online Reading Environment. 3L: Language Linguistics Literature®, Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies. Vol. 19(3), 87-101.

Ostovar-Namaghi, S. A., & Noghabi, A. E. (2014). A Comparison of Perceived Use of the Metacognitive Reading Strategies by Iranian Master of Science Students for Hypertext and Printed Academic Materials. Journal of Language Teaching and Research. Vol. 5(4), 865-872. doi:10.4304/jltr.5.4.865-872

Park, J., Yang, J.-S., & Hsieh, Y. C. (2014). University Level Second Language Readers Online Reading and Comprehension Strategies. Language Learning and Technology. Vol. 18(3), 148-172.

Pookcharoen, S. (2009). Metacognitive Online Reading Strategies Among Thai EFL University Students. (3390322 Ph.D.), Indiana University, Ann Arbor. Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global database.

Protopsaltis, A. (2008). Reading Strategies in Hypertexts and Factors Influencing Hyperlink Selection. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia. Vol. 2, 191-213.

Ramli, N. F. M., Darus, S., & Bakar, N. A. (2011). Metacognitive Online Reading Strategies of Adult ESL Learners Using a Learning Management System. Theory and Practice in Language Studies. Vol. 3, 195-204.

Readability Formulas. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Salmerón, L., Baccino, T., Cañas, J. J., Madrid, R. I., & Fajardo, I. (2009). Do graphical overviews facilitate or hinder comprehension in hypertext? Computers & Education. Vol. 53(4), 1308-1319. doi:

Sheorey, R., & Mokhtari, K. (2001). Differences in the Metacognitive Awareness of Reading Strategies Among Native and Non-native Readers. System. Vol. 29(4), 431-449. doi:

Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: a Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Retrieved from

Spiro, R. J. (2004). Connectivism: a Learning Theory for the Digital Ageprincipled Pluralism for Adaptive Flexibility in Teaching and Learning Theoretical Models and Processes of Reading (5th ed., pp. 654-659). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Sung, Y.-T., Wu, M.-D., Chen, C.-K., & Chang, K.-E. (2015). Examining the Online Reading Behavior and Performance of Fifth-graders: Evidence From Eye-movement Data. Frontiers in Psychology. Vol. 6, 1-15. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00665

Vaičiūnienė, V., & Užpalienė, D. (2013). Metacognititve Online Reading Strategies in Foreign Language Learning Context at University. Social Technologies. Vol. 3(2), 316-329.

Vygotsky, L. (1980). Mind in Society: the Development of Higher Psychological Processes. Cambridge: MA: Harvard University Press.

Wu, J. Y. (2014). Gender Differences in Online Reading Engagement, Metacognitive Strategies, Navigation Skills and Reading Literacy. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning. Vol. 30(3), 252-271. doi:10.1111/jcal.12054



  • There are currently no refbacks.




eISSN : 2550-2131

ISSN : 1675-8021