ERIC Number: ED345204
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr-21
Reference Count: N/A
Goal-Directed Reading of Complex, Embedded Hypertexts: Effects of Goal and Interest on Search Strategies and Selective Attention.
Gillingham, Mark G.
A study examined what happened when a group of adult students read a hypertext for the goal of answering specific questions. Subjects, 30 students enrolled in an upper-division psychology course at a state university in the northwestern United States, read a binary tree-structured hypertext to answer three two-part questions on the topic of cosmology. Data consisted of responses to the questions, traversal paths, time spent in hypertext nodes, and time spent at the "questions" screen. Results indicated that: (1) most readers found the two-part questions difficult to answer, although more successful readers chose important hypertext nodes more often and read them relatively longer than unsuccessful readers; (2) questions posed to the hypertext readers differed in difficulty as a direct result of the complexity of their traversal paths; (3) readers who adopted a depth-first search strategy were more successful than readers who used a breadth-first search strategy; and (4) readers who reinspected their responses were more likely to be successful. Hypertext may be beneficial as a writing medium wherein readers respond to writers by writing within the format of a hypertext. (Six figures representing hypertext screens, and two figures and two tables of data are included; 19 references are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992).