Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration (PhD)

Degree Level



Information Systems


Fred Davis

Committee Member

Cheryl Murphy

Second Committee Member

Paul Cronan

Third Committee Member

Srinivasan Venkatraman


Biological sciences, Applied sciences, Psychology, Behavior modeling, Cognitive load, Enterprise resource planning, Knowledge structures, Massively open online classes, Training


Information technology (IT) is increasingly used to impart a variety training skills, and these skills may range from specific software application operations and computer programming to learning about generic business processes. Using IT to assist training is broadly termed “Technology-Mediated Learning” (TML). Following the three essay model, this dissertation examines training interventions in the context of TML. In Essay 1, a thorough literature survey of technology training in Information Systems (IS) was conducted, resulting in clarification of the nomenclature used in TML. Essay 1 also identified of two leading theories used in TML research: (a) Social cognitive theory (SCT) (b) cognitive load theory (CLT). These two theories were subsequently explored in detail in Essay 2 and Essay 3. According to SCT, humans learn via observational learning (OL) processes of attention, retention, production, and motivation. Essay 2 developed and tested a nomological model of relationships among OL processes. Essay 2 also examined the effectiveness of a mental rehearsal training intervention in the technology-mediated training context of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) simulation. A between-subjects quasi-experiment with n = 150 was conducted to do so, where the control group received training which espoused vicarious learning as well as enactive learning to form the baseline. The treatment group was exposed to additional mental rehearsal. The results supported the hypothesized model of observational learning. Further, the mental rehearsal (i.e., intervention) group formed knowledge structures that shared greater similarity with ERP experts’ knowledge structures compared to the control group. The treatment group also scored significantly higher in terms of business process knowledge and integration knowledge compared to the control group. Essay 3 examined the mechanism behind the effectiveness of mental rehearsal in a technology-mediated training context of Massively Open Online Classes (MOOCs). To do so, it employed cognitive load theory (CLT). A randomized two-group post-test online experiment was conducted with a sample size of 258 to test the conjecture that mental rehearsal reduced extraneous load while enhanced germane load. Results supported the hypotheses related to germane load and extraneous load. It was also found that mental rehearsal led to the formation of knowledge structures that shared greater similarity to experts’ knowledge structures compared to the control group. Thus, supporting the notion that mental rehearsal enhances the effectiveness of training in TML contexts.