Loughborough University
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Supporting students' construction of hypermedia

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posted on 2012-10-12, 11:44 authored by Richard Picking
This thesis considers the proposition that hypermedia may be employed effectively in higher education. More specifically, the question of its use by undergraduate music students to assist in writing essays and dissertations is investigated. The work begins with a review of general issues relating to educational hypermedia, such as its history, application, design and architecture. A user-centred approach to hypermedia development is advocated, and after critique and analysis of the literature, a framework for human-computer interaction for educational hypermedia is proposed. A case study is reported which serves to facilitate the undertaking of original research, as well as to evaluate the proposed framework. Other environments are also selected to carry out more generic research. Both reading strategies and writing strategies are investigated, and the results from these studies are used to conduct a repertory grid analysis of students' approaches to and perceptions of essay and dissertation development. The outcome of this experiment concludes with a proposal for a structural model of essay and dissertation development. Analysis of the model suggests the need for further survey analysis of taskartefact usage in specific educational domains, and experimental studies into electronic document manipulation and the reading of music from computer screens are investigated with respect to the case study environment. The implications of the research carried out in this thesis have assisted in and helped to justify the design of the prototype system HECTOR (Hypermedia, from Essay Conception TO Realisation). It aims to support students in their research, planning and writing of essays and dissertations. HECTOR has been evaluated in the field, and the results of this go some way to supporting the hypothesis of the thesis - that hypermedia can be employed effectively in higher education.



  • Social Sciences


  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies


© Richard Picking

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.


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