Hall, M. J. and Robinson, David
Lost in hyperspace: Linearity versus exploration in the design of multimedia for independent learners.
In: Global Education on the Net: Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Computers in Education 1998, Volume 2, 14-17 October, 1998, Beijing, China, China Higher Education Press, pp. 9–13.
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We are developing multimedia tutorials for independent learners based on a generic software shell. In doing so, one of the pedagogic issues we are addressing relates to navigation. This is a key factor in the effectiveness of multimedia teaching, since it affects how easy students find it to extract and integrate information. Multimedia tutorials tend to be either highly structured, with materials presented in a relatively linear fashion, or an encyclopedia-style explorative resource. The former is restrictive and provides the student with little freedom to study the materials in the order they choose; the latter makes systematic study difficult and students can easily become ‘lost’. Disorientation in explorative-style packages is a particular problem for Field Dependent people (Witkin et al., 1971). We have incorporated the best features of both linear and explorative packages in our shell and our tutorials, with the aim of supporting Field Dependent people as much as possible, while not denying those students who prefer to work in an explorative way the freedom to do so.
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