The effects of graphical overviews on knowledge acquisition in hypertext

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Jong, T. de and Hulst, A. van der (2002) The effects of graphical overviews on knowledge acquisition in hypertext. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 18 (2). pp. 219-231. ISSN 0266-4909

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Abstract:A central aspect of designing hypertext for learning concerns the structure of the information in the hypertext and the view the learner is offered of this structure. In this study, a hypertext environment was enhanced with a graphical overview that represented the basic, inherent, structure of the domain and the layout was designed in such a way that learners were unobtrusively encouraged to follow a sequence of exploration that followed the domain structure. This so-called ‘visual’ lay-out was compared with two lay-outs that presented randomly positioned nodes. One of these two lay-outs contained hints (using ‘highlighting’) to stimulate learners to follow a domain related exploration similar to the one incorporated in the visual lay-out. The other (‘control’) lay-out did not provide such hints. Results showed that participants from both the ‘visual’ and the ‘hints’ conditions demonstrated a more domain-related exploration pattern than participants from the ‘control’ condition. Participants in the ‘visual’ lay-out did not show a better recall of the content of the nodes as such, but showed a significantly better acquisition of knowledge of structure than participants from the other two conditions. These data indicate that a visual display conveys knowledge in its own right and that knowledge gained does not depend on the exploration route followed in the hypertext material.
Item Type:Article
Copyright:© 2002 Blackwell
Faculty:
Behavioural Sciences (BS)
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Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/publications/44128
Official URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.0266-4909.2002.00229.x
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