Web-based Hypermedia Courseware in Higher Education: A Proposed Framework
This thesis is concerned with hypermedia and learning, and in particular with the design and development factors that need to be considered for the creation of hypermediabased courseware in higher education that uses the Web as a delivery platform. One of the most commonly cited problems with educational hypermedia is related to the design and structure of the educational material. It appears that Web-based instructional authors have not had access to an instructional model, which has been empirically tested. However, there is a large body of knowledge in the field of instructional design from which one can draw suitable conclusions for the design process of Web-based educational hypermedia. The current research recommends that a precondition for effective Web-based courseware design in higher education is careful consideration of the traditional body of knowledge in the field of instructional design which should act as a foundation for future developments in the design process. In addition, the end-users' input should be sought as it can confirm the above and enhance further our understanding toward the implementation of this new medium in higher education. Based on this recommendation, a framework is proposed in terms of its design, user input and evaluation for the development of Web-based courseware in higher education aimed at supporting the delivery of physical modules. The thesis describes how the different stages of the proposed framework were implemented through the develop moot of two Web-based courseware applications aimed at supporting the delivery of two higher education modules taught in De Montfort University, U.K. In order to test the validity of the proposed approach, that a Web-based courseware developed according to the experimental framework could effectively support the delivery of physical modules compared with conventional teaching methods, two empirical studies have been conducted. They were concerned with the summative evaluation of the two Web-based courseware applications, which were developed according to the proposed framework. The results from the evaluation of the two empirical studies indicated significant improvements in users' performance and satisfaction compared with conventional teaching methods. Thus, the proposed framework can indeed offer a solution for the development of Web-based courseware that aims to support the delivery of physical modules in higher education. Moreover, the experimental framework can also provide a detailed starting point and can be adapted for the design and development of Web-based courseware aimed at addressing distance learning or other forms of Web instruction.
- PhD