An exploration of the design of hypermedia learning environments from pedagogic perspectives
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An Exploration of the Design of Hypermedia Learning Environments from Pedagogic Perspectives. Roy KAM, 5 July 2003 [CITE, University of Hong Kong]

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An Exploration of the Design of Hypermedia Learning Environments from Pedagogic Perspectives

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An Exploration of the Design of Hypermedia Learning Environments from Pedagogic Perspectives

Roy KAM,

5 July 2003 [CITE, University of Hong Kong]

Dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the MA in ICT in Education from the Institute of Education, University of London

Presentation Outline

Research question


Educational media perspective

Educational theories perspective

Usability perspective

Main Findings


Research Question

  • Inspired by professional experience.

  • To explore the pedagogic design of hypermedia learning environments that may influence the teaching-learning process by using data from two online coursewares available in (

Two presentation skills coursewares

Xebec - English presentation skill courseware

developed by McGraw-Hill Lifetime Learning.

MDCHK – Chinese presentation skill courseware jointly developed by and the Management Development Centre of Hong Kong


Data collection

Content-based methodology


Educational Media Perspective

  • Hypermedia as an extension of ICT having an educational application, NOT another form of educational technology which was originally designed for pedagogic needs.

  • Rule 1 – the pedagogic soundness of hypermedia learning environments is determined by the way hypermedia is designed rather than the hypermedia itself

    (Clark 1983; 1994, Kozma 1991; 1994)


Non-linearity (+’ve high level of learner control).

Media-richness (+’ve support text, audio, video,

animation, etc).

Interactivity (+’ve learner-learner, learner-facilitator, learner-content)

Educational Media Perspective

  • Use of Narrative (Plowman et al 1999; Laurillard 2002)

Educational Theories Perspective

  • When one designs a learning environment, be it classroom-based or computer-based, one or more learning theories must be embodied in it explicitly or implicitly (Duffy & Jonassen 1992).

     Rule 2 - to correlate what we know about the teaching-learning process from educational theories with the design of hypermedia learning environments.

Educational Theories Perspective

  • Three basic views of learning

    - Behaviourist (objectivist epistemology)

    - Constructivist (constructivist epistemology)

    - Situated (I. Psychological, Barab & Duffy 2000; II. Anthropological, Lave & Wenger 1991)

  • Essential aspects of the teaching-learning process

    - Conversational Framework (Laurillard 2002)

  • Dialogic

  • Situatedness

Usability Perspective

  • A complete hypermedia learning environment = a synergy between three layers including content, interface (e.g. browser), infrastructure (e.g. operation system, internet connection).

  • Either of those layers does not function properly  POOR LEARNING EXPERIENCE.

     Rule 3 – to examine the design of hypermedia learning environments based on usability guidelines (e.g. Nielsen 2000, Preece 2000)

Usability Perspective

  • Response times (+’ve fast).

  • Text density (+’ve low).

  • Visual display (+’ve consistent use of colours).

  • Navigation (-’ve orphan page)

     Fundamental usability guidelines emphasize simplicity, consistency and accuracy.

Main Findings

  • Use of Narrative

    - Narrative as a structuring device.

    - An interplay between ‘narrative guidance’ & ‘narrative construction’.

     Narrative guidance – learners are given guidance about the different ways the environments can be explored.

     Narrative construction – environments motivate learners’ attention to their own constructed narrative resulting from their response to the different narrative given in the environments.


Main Findings

  • Xebec & MDCHK are not the merely non-linear learning environments which afford no structures

Main Findings

Main Findings

  • Xebec – shows more design features that can be used to maximize the possibility for learners to construct and sustain their own narrative line. E.g.

Main Findings

  • Dialogic (Laurillard 2002)


Teacher’s Conceptual Knowledge

Student’s Conceptual Knowledge

Adaptation of world

Adaptation of actions

Reflection on interaction

Reflection on student’s action


Teacher’s Constructed World



Main Findings

  • E.g. Representation of a textbook in Laurillard’s model:

    Teacher’s Conceptual Knowledge

    Student’s Conceptual Knowledge

  • From Laurillard’s (2002) Conversational Framework perspective, Xebec and MDCHK are not dialogic learning environments

Main Findings

E-mail & Discussion

Main Findings

  • Situatedness

  • The design of both coursewares show that Xebec and MDCHK are not consistent with the anthropological view of situated learning (i.e. legitimate peripheral participation; communities of practice) but the psychological view of situated learning (i.e. practice field).

Main Findings

Main Findings

  • The designs of both coursewares are basically consistent with the behaviourist view of learning, which embodies the objectivist epistemology.

  • the presentation of the course content in Xebec and MDCHK is didactic rather than self-exploratory.


  • Delivering conventional teaching in a new medium vs. Educational innovation?!

  • Accessibility, Flexibility, Cost-effectiveness

  • Technological determinism?!

  • ICT as a change agent?!


Roy KAM,

Any feedback and further discussion is more than welcome.

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