PLATO’s Vision

PLATO tackles challenges arising from the media’s ever-increasing influence and the intentionally or unintentionally biased information, and examines its effects on the way students process information and acquire knowledge.

PLATO aims to contribute substantially and sustainably to answering four central overarching research questions:

    1. How is the information landscape on the Internet structured, and how, if at all, does it differ from learning materials provided by university teaching?

    2. How can self-directed online learning be characterized, and to what extent does it systematically differ from guided learning in institutionalized university contexts?

    3. How do the characteristics of the Internet-based information landscape influence online learning processes and learning outcomes?

    4. How do the characteristics of the learners affect their online learning processes? How do online learning processes mediate the influence of learner characteristics on learning outcomes?

    5. Can we identify specific relationships and constellations of more or less preferable Internet-based learning environments and students’ characteristics on the one side and the related positive or negative learning outcomes on the other side?