Users of educational hypertext are faced with the challenge of creating meaning both within and between texts. Cohesion is an important factor contributing to whether a reader is able to capture meaning and comprehend text. When readers are required to fill in conceptual gaps in text, comprehension can fail if they do not have sufficient knowledge. Cohesion helps low-knowledge readers to create a more coherent mental representation of the text. However, text that is too cohesive can inhibit active processing, and thus reduce coherence for more knowledgeable readers. Similar patterns have been found for hypertext, which requires readers to create coherence between multiple electronic texts. Domain novices are in greater need of explicit pointers to important links between documents and gain from having less control over system navigation. Domain experts are in less need of scaffolding within the system. We discuss the use of a multimedia reading strategy training program to help low-knowledge readers better understand less cohesive text. Finally, we discuss four principles to guide hypertext development geared toward improving coherence and metacognitive engagement.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications