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Educational Hypertext: How to avoid the risk of getting lost in the text

05-09-2016 02:47 PM CET | Science & Education

Press release from: Pabst Science Publishers

A. Schütz et al.: New Media in Everyday Life - Findings from the Fields of Work, Learning and Leisure

A. Schütz et al.: New Media in Everyday Life - Findings from the Fields of Work, Learning and Leisure

Advantages of educational hypertext: The high degree of freedom of the users to arrange the reading sequence in hypertext themselves ultimately results in active knowledge acquisition. However, it also contains the risk of getting lost in the text, Anja Neumann and colleagues note in their study "Recommendations for text composition and navigation aids".

The study suggests "that the construction of a coherent situation model from the hypertext works best if coherent navigation is possible and if an overview of the text structure is presented. If hypertext systems do not meet the users´ expectations or the readers´ situation models, it is difficult for users to build a mental representation of the hypertext system. This will, in turn, lead to problems of orientation and navigation as well as incorrect expectations about where to find information, although these problems can be partially compensated by the presentation of an overview of the text structure.

This can support the online processing of a system for learning, especially when searching for specific information, when learners can also navigate through the system using this orientation aid. The combination of these aids seems to facilitate the construction of a mental representation of the learning system itself, in addition to the construction of the mental representation of what the system is about.

For hypertext reading it is advisable to guide the user through the hypertext system, for example by means of a guided tour, where the author or the system suggests a navigation path. These design recommendations have proven useful in well-defined closed hypertext systems in an educational context ..."

>> A. Naumann, A. Brunstein, J. Waniek, J.F. Krems: Designing educational hypertext. In: A. Schütz et al.: New Media in Everyday Life - Findings from the Fields of Work, Learning and Leisure. Pabst, 320 pages, ISBN 978-3-89967-238-1
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