Students' online search processes are variable in terms of the speed and the amount of information they need to consult. These two quantitative variables may be determined either by cognitive preferences or by the specific context of the task as required by the teacher. This study empirically analyzes how the online search processes of ninety-two students vary depending on the task type (Taylor, 1991), or alternatively as a function of four learning style preferences (Honey & Mumford, 1986). The results show that students tend to proceed according to their preferences. Moreover, the reflective style always exhibits the same procedure regardless of task type. From the pedagogical standpoint, this process-based preference over a result-based approach argues for the design of tasks with attention to learning styles as essential in order to optimize learning through online information resources.
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