Structure Mapping and Hypertext Architecture

Martin Graff

University of Glamorgan

This paper outlines a study which assessed the effect of using three different hypertext architectures (linear, hierarchical and relational) on a structure mapping task. Accuracy of structure mapping has been shown to have an effect on learning (Shapiro, 1998).

The subject matter contained within the hypertext was identical for each of the three architectures, and was domain neutral in the sense that none of the participants had encountered the information before. Participants were eighty-two students following university undergraduate courses in computing. The instruction in computing received by these students would have enabled them to carry out the structure-mapping task easily. Each participant was assigned to one of the three different hypertext conditions. Cognitive style was measured using the CSA. After browsing the hypertext for ten minutes, participants were required to recall as fully as possible the structure of the architecture to which they had been assigned, and also to answer question relating to how the information contained within the hypertext was connected conceptually.

Results suggest that both hypertext architecture and cognitive style determined accuracy of the structure maps produced by participants. It is suggested that the accuracy of recall of the hypertext structure, also had an impact on participant's ability to recall further how various pieces of information within the architecture are related conceptually.

Return to Abstracts Index