Evaluating the Structural Organization of a Hypermedia Learning Environment using GOMS Model Analysis

Network-accessible hypermedia environments offer the potential for radically changing the nature of education by providing students with self-paced access to digital repositories of course information. However, much research is still required to identify ways to best organize, present, and index multimedia information to facilitate use and learning by students. We have been developing a theory of design for educational multimedia, which is based on cognitive aspects of the users of that information. Design based on “cognitive media types” appeals to the particular cognitive aspects of learners. In contrast, design based on physical media types appeals to particular symbol systems or sensory modalities.

To evaluate our theory of cognitive media types, we have taken a 3-pronged approach: design, empirical evaluation, and analysis of student models. In this paper, we focus on the third component of our approach: a model of student usage and learning with cognitive media. This model, based on the GOMS methodology, helps us better understand the usability of our system, and how it may support and hinder student learning. Furthermore, our user model provides feedback on our theory of cognitive media, and offers suggestions for the design of effective hypermedia learning environments.

Evaluating the Structural Organization of a Hypermedia Learning Environment using GOMS Model Analysis

by Terry Shikano, Mimi Recker, Ashwin Ram

World Conference on Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, Boston, MA, June 1996

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