Assertions regarding the benefits of hypermedia learning are becoming commonplace. In order to examine aspects of the learning process, this experimental study compared hypertext courseware and lecture-based teaching. Students learning FORTRAN were randomly assigned to either (a) a hypertext group using FORTRAN in an X-windows environment, (b) a lecture only group, or (c) a hypertext plus lectures group. In addition to questionnaire information, logging data were collected on session access and use. Results indicate that learning in a hypertext environment is similar to the traditional lecture course, although students prefer hypertext-based learning. Using a 'hyper-entrail' analysis, profiles of individual students highlighted different styles of learning (eg, exploratory, repetitive, continuous). The results discuss investigating learning in hypertext environments leading to the suggestion that hyper-entrail analysis provides a key source of user defined information, central for successful iterative hypertext courseware development
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