Explorations into hypertext: spatial metaphor considered harmful
Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 31, (4), . (doi:10.1080/0954730940310404).
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The research reported in this paper is concerned with the exploration of non-linear computer based hypertext to support our existing teaching methods. At present this research is ongoing, but significant progress has been made to make a report of our findings so far worthwhile. Initial research explored a comparison of linear and non-linear CAL.The results were encouraging to suggest further exploration into the non-linear medium. Analysis of the findings led to the proposal that learning styles may represent learners' decisions based upon system image, and therefore an artifact of courseware design. This puts the emphasis on design of hypertext systems to aid the learner in making choices. Given that one of the major disadvantages associated with hypertext is learners reporting that they become disorientated, an investigation into navigational aids was undertaken. The results of this study led us to question the spatial metaphor, and propose a simple, but radical, shift in hypertext design: to concentrate on nodes, rather than links. This will be the focus of future research.
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