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DESIGNING HYPERMEDIA LEARNING MATERIALS By Uthman T.

Alturki Teachers' college – King Saud University December 2007 Abstract Hypermedia is computer-based applications for consulting multimedia information resources. The access of new information is by clicking on relevant areas such as texts, pictures, and video, animation, and sound fragments. It gives a better concept on how to utilize multimedia resources. Hypermedia implicitly supports how to access information elements and how to crisscross in information space. This figurative space is typical for the complexity that arises in creating and using hypermedia. Orientation and navigation are the costs that emerge from the desire to interconnect information elements and from the ambition to browse freely between semantic elements that users would normally find at different locations in books, different books, different libraries, and so on. In this paper, I will try to discuss the design of a hypermedia material: theory and practice. INTRODUCTION Learning is a continuous process of acquiring knowledge, skills, attitudes, or values, through study, experience, or teaching, that causes a change of behavior that is persistent, measurable, and allows an individual to formulate a new mental construct or revise a prior mental construct. Often, learning is synonymous with education. Education is the conscious attempt to promote learning in others. The primary function of "teaching" is to create a safe, practical, and productive learning environment. Teaching is managing of the total learning environment to promote, enhance and motivate learning. Learning environment is the place, which is usually physical, where teaching and learning occurs. The learning environment can have both positive and negative effects on the mentor’s ability to teach and the student’s ability to focus on the learning task. A constructive learning environment puts open powerful resources in student to develop their problem-solving skills (Jonassen 1999), provides spaces for student privacy (Moore, 1986) and encourages the active use of knowledge and skills of the learners (Perkins, 1991). As the technologies develop, so does the learning environment. And with the development of the hypertext, hypermedia, Multimedia, the Internet and the World Wide Web, a new kind of learning environment developed, such as the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE); Learning Management Systems (LMS); Course Management System (CMS); Managed Learning Environments (MLE); and education via Computer-mediated Communication (CMC) or Online Education. HYPERMEDIA AND CONSTRUCTIVISM Many researches found Computer programmed instruction an effective and enjoyable method to motivate and reinforce student learning. Maddux, Johnson, and Willis (1997) say that programmed instruction was more

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while interaction is concerned with the current transactions taking place between the person and their environment. Constructivist models of computer programs have emerged from the work of developmental theorists such as Jerome Bruner. . The summary image or a mental picture of a path or pattern is the iconic form. 2 . while the theorists of social constructivist placed more emphasis on the social context of learning. and it is an expert’s instruction.It requires the learners to construct their own meaning. dual coding theory. the innovative educational computer programs. Environmental experience is the key concept in Piaget's cognitive theory and Dewey's learning principles. icons include images and pictures. it is an individualized learning. Based on above theorists. . This means.It is effort centered rather than ability centered. Meaning. and lack of flexibility and user-friendliness. content has a linear structure. and denies the notion that learner passively absorbs information that provided by the teacher or textbook. accommodation develops new cognitive structures with the same subject or content with the existing structures. according to Dewey (1938).It encourages collaborative learning and social interaction among students. Action would include enactment and demonstration.It involves learners to construct their own knowledge by connecting previously assimilated knowledge to their new ideas. The theorists of cognitive constructivist stated that learners construct their own knowledge of the world through assimilation and accommodation. the two learning experiences are situation and interaction. Assimilation is the incorporation of new experiences into existing experiences. and these are through forms of action. The active form. and Lev Vygotsky. Bruner (1996) posits that individuals can represent the real world in three ways. icons and symbols. Situation represents experiences of an environment affecting the child. the child's existing cognitive structures are modified and adapted in response to her/his environment. which is similar to Piaget’s assimilation. and these include Bruner's three-form theory. . and symbols include words and numbers. Meanwhile. like hypermedia. constructivist-learning environments should have the following characteristics: .It puts open powerful resources in student hands to develop their problem-solving skills. and cognitive flexibility theory.effective than traditional teaching methods for three reasons: it has immediate knowledge of results. not to repeat others' meaning. While the behavioral models of computer programmed instruction has some weaknesses for example: information and learning are isolated. which is similar to Piaget’s accommodation. Based on human cognition. . which is based on stimulus-response theory. are developed on constructivist learning theory. THE HYPERMEDIA-BASED LEARNING THEORIES The concept of the hypermedia-based learning environment can be examined from three different learning theory’s perspective. Piaget's theory has two processes that form the basis of environmental and experiential theories: assimilation and accommodation. is the state of doing. Jean Piaget.

when information coding in both systems. Learner characteristics are one of the most important factors affecting the design of hypermedia learning material. Identifying the objectives of the units. As Bruner had pointed out. And 3) multiple representations of the content are presented (Maddux et al. and symbols On the other hand. 2) the major learning activity is a nonlinear exploration of the learning environment. Systematic relationships between the concepts should be organized.. In addition to this. 1995). Conducting content analysis. this theory has the following characteristics: 1) Random access. it is easier to be remembered than when information coded only in the verbal system. the hypermedia tool can create a positive and integrating learning environment for acquiring knowledge that combines enactment. are inadequate for implementation within ill-structured domains because they depend on organized and linear techniques. and then relating new knowledge to existing knowledge. 1991). According to Schunk (1996). it is possible to modify instruction according to the nature of the subject and to the nature of the learner when instructors lean more heavily toward the abstract. Before one develops a hypermedia learning material. Specifically. concepts.The symbolic form.. and principles. the age and maturity of the users are other important aspects to be considered. 1997). Determining the learning strategies. Moreover. Cognitive flexibility theory points out those traditional instructional designs. Phase 1: Preparation Determining the users' characteristics. Indeed. mainly consists of language. emphasizes that two separate systems can work independently or together for verbal and imagery processing (Butler & Mautz 1996). 3 . lectures. Development. emphasizes the complexity and ill – structure of many knowledge domains of the real world (Spiro et al. and procedures should be determined based on the objectives of the units determined. it was found that text materials that are lacking pictures are more difficult to understand and recall than the same text materials presented with an organizing image (Burton et al. one should identify the objectives of the units. It suggests that pictures are easier to remember than words. For example. like textbooks. is an abstract form since the word is a disconnection from the reality it represents. A subject-matter expert should be called to evaluate the semantic relationships of the concepts determined. interrelated concepts. Content analysis should be conducted and concepts. icons. DESIGNING A HYPERMEDIA LEARNING MATERIAL Designing a hypermedia-based learning material consists of the following phases: Preparation. the dual coding theory. symbolic form for advanced students. In other words. In general. it is necessary to examine the level of prior knowledge that the learners have on the subject. If the learner has prior knowledge. Finally Cognitive flexibility theory. computer-based drill. meaningful learning involves gaining ideas. and Evaluation. it is easier to integrate the new knowledge into the existing knowledge structure and decide on meaningful learning steps in the instructional tool.. what he learners should ought to achieve after taking these units.

Story boarding involves showing each navigation window on a page. by first presenting the basic concepts. or 4 . At the beginning of each unit. From a constructivist point of view. Phase 2: Development Concept mapping. Then revise and improved the material according to the feedback received from those experts. To ascertain interrelations between concepts determined in content analysis. individuals using their experiences as a foundation can construct knowledge personally from internal representations. Story boarding is the last step before the programming stage. 3) learner-orientation. 1996). In this system. one should construct concept maps of the units. Programming. hypermedia provides an environment that goes beyond the traditional instructional approach rather than settling for a single dimension (Yang. One can use any hypermedia program available in the market. Identifying the knowledge organization approaches that best suit the learning strategies. This includes active keys. Collaborative learning Hypermedia learning instruction offers interactive communication and creates a potentially collaborative learning environment. and 4) interdisciplinary learning. text. In this kind of learning activities. ADVANTAGES AND DISADVATAGES OF HYPERMEDIA-BASED LEARNING Advantages In the building hypermedia-based learning instruction. four advantages of this learning environment can emerge: 1) multiple perspectives. such as Microsoft FrontPage. visuals. One should manage the issues of knowledge organization and linking nodes to each other at this point. In addition to this hierarchical links. video. the names of linked windows.boarding. Story. a subject-area expert. and three subject-area teachers for evaluation. learners can engage in side-by-side and online discussion. Owing to its having multiple perspectives. links. 2) collaborative learning. debate. but rather to the learner's interactions with the external world (Lacy & Wood. one should elaborate to explain the concepts from simple to complex and from general to specific. One is suggested to use hierarchical links in the material. an HTML editor Phase 3: Evaluation After the material is developed. a short video episodes that explains the units overall can be used as advance organizers to help users relate new knowledge to the existing knowledge in their memory. This stage is important because this shows each node and links between the nodes.This means one should first provide general and simple knowledge. knowledge is based on individual constructions that are not tied to any external reality. Multiple perspectives Hypermedia-based learning instruction offers multiple linkages and contextual learning environments. sound. and graphics of the page. 1993). then detailed and specific knowledge. and then subordinate concepts related to the basic concepts. seek an instructional technology specialist.

1998). increasing learner control can aid learning by individualizing the instruction and making it more motivating (Steinberg. 5 . and these are: Learner's background discrepancy. one drawback of this structure is the potential for users to become disoriented or "lost" in hyperspace (Heller. 1989).. Over-rich information. 1995). based on hypermedia and hypertext linking. The Web system. this simultaneously synchronous and asynchronous nature provides a productive environment for group problem-solving activities for the generation and testing of new ideas. In addition to this. based on non-linear and interactive communication. & Moore. and Ineffective user-interface.negotiation. facilitates student-centered instructional settings and creates a motivating and active learning environment (Backer & Dwyer. Many users of hypermedia systems have found that they could not take advantages of this medium if they lacked the required computer skills (Oliver et al. and responsive interactive navigation tools (Yang. Moreover. The hypermedia-learning environment. 1990). multiple linkages. multiplicity. their teachers. Learner-orientation Hypermedia provides a "high learner control" environment. Disorientation Although the characteristics of hypermedia of providing nonlinear and learner-controlled instructional environment match human metacognitive skills and assist users to understand what needs to be done in a particular situation and to navigate and process information (Reed & Giessler. this web-based hypermedia system allows all individuals with a browser to transfer files and information from thousands of possible real-life sources to themselves (Gilbert. Before engaging in a hypermedia-learning environment. this feature of the networking process for collaborative learning is a democratic environment where all learners have an equal opportunity to share their views. Although a hypermedia-learning environment provides a transformable relationship among the learners themselves. 1996). Disorientation. These learner control systems enable learners to make decisions about which paths to follow through instructional materials. Learner's background discrepancy Unlike structural computer-assisted instruction (CAI). one should ask what the teacher and the student’s attitudes towards hypermedia. 1994). Interdisciplinary learning The characteristics of hypermedia facilitate interdisciplinary learning through its massive information database. hypermedia provides loose structure and more interactive learning circumstances. multiple mixed media. learners' self-regulated skills are still a crucial factor to build a successful implementation and integration of hypermedia learning instruction into the curriculum (Yang. When hypermedia is integrated with the Internet. encourages learners to explore related knowledge and information to promote interdisciplinary learning activities. and the information base. 1998). Disadvantages or Limitations There are four limitations of hypermedia-based learning. In fact. Making learners lacking the necessary basic skills and self-discipline may do better in a traditional delivery mode of learning. 1996). their collaborators. the scope and extent of inquiry into different domains and contents that will be followed.

Today. in a hypermedia environment. CONCLUSION Hypermedia learning environment may help students learn course-related knowledge in several ways. When information overloading occurs. tools like browsers. guide tours. Owing to individual differences. and provide an interactive rich environment. learners find it more difficult to select and interpret information into their own knowledge. educators should pay more attentions in users' attitudes while designing hypermedialearning environments. such as combining it with other type of software. the information sources become increasingly varied (Ayersman. the quality of user interfaces has a great deal to do with whether a new media program is easy to use and helpful or frustrating and irritating (Maddux et al. knowledge cannot be divorced from learners' historical and cultural backgrounds (O'Loughlin. they are also expected to create and add their own knowledge to this instructional system. In addition. User interface design is a crucial role in hypermedia systems. or the information landscape. Another approach would be is to create more user-friendly interfaces to assist learners to control their directions. concept maps. This situation presents users with cognitive overload. 1992). From a sociocultural viewpoint. 1998). Therefore. then they could be instructed to focus more attention on the details of important concepts and ideas.. 6 . Over-rich information The problem of over-rich information is one of the typical issues with hypermedia instruction in Internet systems. This environment should be used not only for distance learning but also as instructional aid in traditional learning to help students enhance their learning. Ineffective user-interface User-interface. Still. 1995). This means that learners first focus the majority of their attention on the structural aspects of the instructional lesson. and learning best occurs in the context that it will be used (Leidner & Jarvenpaa. users are no longer merely consumers of information. Once learners have a grasp of the main structure. Typically. refers to the way information is organized and the interface through which the users have access to the information. Moreover. further studies should be made for the future of hypermedia learning. An effective user-interface is a key factor to provide users with an ability to arrange the information in nonlinear ways. the problem is not so much in finding information but sifting through the huge amount that is readily available and locating the particular pieces that are of most interest now. Commonly. & Reed. 1997). 1996). they may become frustrated searching endlessly in cyberspace. different cognitive styles might also affect knowledge acquisition and retention in hypermedia learning environments and this should be studied. a potential approach might be developed using the "big picture" at first (Beasley & Waugh. This means that learning is the interpretation of knowledge by learners. and this is beginning to happen in the field.To avoid losing learners in hyperspace. Therefore. and metaphors are all user interfaces in hypermedia instruction. search engines.

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