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Title: Efficacy of a map on search, orientation and access behaviour in a hypermedia system
Authors: Stanton, NA
Correia, P
Dias, P
Keywords: Hypertext; Hypermedia; Navigation; Maps
Issue Date: 2000
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Computers & Education, 35(4): 263-279, Dec 2000
Abstract: Many researchers have proposed hypertext and hypermedia as superior learning environments over traditional linear-based approaches. At the same time, reports of disorientation amongst students working in these environments has become a topic of major concern. The study reported in this paper sets out to investigate the efficacy of the provision of maps on students' ability to search, orientation and access information in a hypertext-based learning task. The domain used required students to learn about the theory of tectonic plates. The results indicate that the greater use of maps led to less relevant searching behaviour and less effective search effort. In conclusion, it is argued that the concept of the spatial metaphor has not served the designers and students of hypertext and hypermedia environments well. Further, it is proposed that designers of non-linear learning environments would be better served by concentrating on the fundamental usability of their systems rather than attempting to introduce navigational aids, which themselves are a symptom of poor design.
Appears in Collections:Ergonomics
Dept of Design Research Papers

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