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|Title:||From information searching to learning: A comparison of contrasting hypertextual menu designs for computer-based instructional documents|
|Doctoral Committee Chair(s):||Waugh, Michael L.|
|Department / Program:||Education|
|Degree Granting Institution:||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|Subject(s):||Education, Technology of
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
|Abstract:||The introduction of the hypertext concept and the advancement of computer technologies have brought new opportunities for learning through electronic documents. However, studies comparing information searching in linearly and non-linearly organized texts cannot provide useful guidelines for implementing computer-based instructional documents if search tasks and menu designs are not clearly classified and described. This study examined the influence of three different combinations of structures and menu designs on users' attitude, performance, and learning in five different search tasks. The three types of combinations studied were: (a) an explicit menu signaling hierarchical structure where cross-referencing was not supported (EXH--explicit and hierarchical), (b) an explicit menu signaling hierarchical structure in which cross-referencing capability was embedded (EXN--explicit and network), and (c) an embedded menu signaling both hierarchical structure and cross-referencing capability (EMN--embedded and network). Based upon the specificity, complexity and boundary of the search targets, the five types of searches studied were when the target was: (a) simple and fully known, (b) simple but only partially known, (c) complex and fully known, (d) complex but only partially known, and (e) complex and the condition for terminating the search was unclear.
The results of the study showed that providing cross-reference links in small- or medium-sized on-line documents can improve search accuracy, but not efficiency. EXN can produce the best search accuracy in most cases and EMN will encourage in-depth search for tasks that are complex and not fully known. However, after undergoing various search tasks, all subjects in this study developed a similar "big picture" of the content domain. Although EXN was best received by the subjects, it resulted in a greater sense of getting lost for those who used the referential links and backtracking links more often. It is possible that the EXN interface did not encourage as much mental effort of its users to keep track of where they were. EMN users, faced with a newer interface, were "forced" to be more mindful of their location in the information space and thus were able to build a better mental model.
|Rights Information:||Copyright 1994 Lai, Yee-Rong|
|Date Available in IDEALS:||2011-05-07|
|Identifier in Online Catalog:||AAI9503247|