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Exploring the Design Space of Educational Hyper-Systems

Dianne McKerlie, Preece, Jacques, Nonnecke, Allan MacLean
The widespread availability of platforms for producing hyper-systems (i.e. hypertext and hypermedia) shows great potential for producing computer based learning environments. However, we do not yet have a great deal of experience in understanding how to make best use of the structural and media possibilities opened up by such systems. This paper explores the issues by analysing the techniques used by designers within a variety of different hyper-systems and begins to develop a space of potential design solutions and their likely impact on learning. We report the general findings of an expert evaluation of recent hyper- systems. The study produced the following six dimensions: purpose of the hyper-system, domain or content, structure of the nodes and links, navigation methods, control, and style of presentation. These were used to examine the designs more closely using a Design Space Analysis framework and notation known as QOC. Performing a retrospective analysis has provided insights about how these dimensions relate to learning from hyper-systems and how the dimensions can influence designs for learning material. We expect that our findings can inform educational hyper-system design.
Xerox Technical Report


EPC-1993-112.pdf (102.24 kB) (1.94 MB)