Location of Repository

Browsing while reading: effects of instructional design and learners' prior knowledge

By Thiemo Müller‐Kalthoff and Jens Möller


One of the key reasons that multimedia, and particularly hypertext systems, are gaining in importance is that they inspire hopes of optimizing learners' processes of knowledge construction. The present study is concerned with the respective influence of individual learner variables (i.e. particularly domain‐specific prior knowledge) on the use of different design attributes. Thirty‐six university students worked through a hierarchically structured two‐part hypertext about the psychology of memory under two experimental browsing conditions (reduced versus free browsing). Results show that deeper‐level comprehension (i.e. structural knowledge) was predicted by the interaction of experimental condition and prior knowledge, but that simply retaining facts was not. Participants with low prior knowledge performed better on the comprehension test if they had worked on the version with reduced access. Moreover, the version with reduced access helped to reduce feelings of disorientation. The measure of disorientation also appeared to be closely linked with the individual's computer experience, self‐concept of computer ability and subject‐related interest. The main implications for educational practice relate to the design of an adaptive multimedia and hypertext learning system and the successful learning with it

Topics: LB Theory and practice of education, LC1022 - 1022.25 Computer-assisted Education
Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2006
DOI identifier: 10.1080/09687760600668602
OAI identifier: oai:generic.eprints.org:116/core5

Suggested articles



  1. (1989). A learning support environment: the hitch-hiker’s guide, in: R. McAleese (Ed) Hypertext: theory into practice
  2. (1993). An alternative rhetoric for hypertext, in:
  3. (1977). Aptitudes and instructional methods doi
  4. (2002). Assimilating complex information, doi
  5. (1999). Cognitive effects of a structural overview in a hypertext, doi
  6. (1991). Cognitive load theory and the format of instruction, doi
  7. (1995). Cognitive mapping architectures and hypermedia disorientation: an empirical study,
  8. (1998). Comprehension: a paradigm for cognition (Cambridge,
  9. (2002). Context-based navigation in the Web by means of dynamically generated guided tours, doi
  10. (2005). Current trends in research on hypertext/hypermedia systems: commentary on the contributions in this special issue,
  11. (2001). Dimensional comparisons: an experimental approach to the internal/external frame of reference model,
  12. (1998). Domain knowledge, interest and hypertext navigation: a study of individual differences,
  13. (1992). Domain knowledge: evolving issues and emerging concerns, doi
  14. (2003). Effects of content representation and readers’ prior knowledge on the comprehension of hypertext, doi
  15. (1994). Effects of learner control, advisement, and prior knowledge on young students’ learning in a hypertext environment, doi
  16. (1998). Effects of text structure and prior knowledge of the learner on navigation in hypertext, doi
  17. (1998). Hypermedia as an educational technology: a review of the quantitative research literature on learner comprehension, control and style, doi
  18. (1998). Hypertext and the question of visual literacy, in:
  19. (1987). Hypertext: an introduction and survey, doi
  20. (1992). Information filterimg,
  21. (1994). Learning strategies of university students: factor structure and reliability of a new questionnaire,
  22. (2000). Learning with hypertext: the impact of navigational aids and prior knowledge,
  23. (1989). Lost in hyperspace’: cognitive mapping and navigation in a hypertext environment, in: R. McAleese (Ed) Hypertext: theory into practice
  24. (1989). Lost in hyperspace’: cognitive mapping and navigation in a hypertext environment, in: R. McAleese (Ed) Hypertext: theory into practice (Norwood, NJ, Ablex), 105–125.Effects of instructional design and learners’ prior knowledge
  25. (1989). Mapping hypertext: the analysis, organization, and display of knowledge for the next generation of on-line text and graphics doi
  26. (1995). Multimedia and hypertext: the internet and beyond (San Diego, doi
  27. (2001). Multimedia learning (Cambridge, doi
  28. (1989). Navigation and browsing in hypertext, in: R. McAleese (Ed) Hypertext: theory into practice
  29. (1991). Objectivism versus constructivism: do we need a new philosophical paradigm?, doi
  30. (1989). Scripted documents: a hypermedia path mechanism, in: doi
  31. (2003). Self-regulation and instructional guidance in learning from hypermedia,
  32. (1993). Space—the final chapter or why physical representations are not semantic intentions, in:
  33. (2001). Supporting the processing of external representations—learning with hyper texts,
  34. (1998). Supporting visual and verbal learning preferences in a second-language multimedia training environment, doi
  35. (2000). The effect of interactive overviews on the development of conceptual structure in novices learning from hypermedia,
  36. (2005). The effects of different graphical overviews on hypertext learning achievement,
  37. (2003). The effects of graphical overviews, prior knowledge, and self-concept on hypertext disorientation and learning achievement,
  38. (1994). The role of subject-matter knowledge and interest in the processing of linear and nonlinear texts, doi
  39. (1999). The use of hypertext for learning, doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.