Prepare to be shocked: Hypermedia does not improve learning!

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Dillon, Andrew; Gabbard, Ralph
article description
We reviewed the findings of 35 experimental studies of hypermedia use in educational tasks which emphasized quantitative, empirical methods to assess learning outcomes. The review found three broad themes in the literature: studies of learner comprehension compared across hypermedia and between other media; effects on learning outcome of the increased learner control offered users in hypermedia environments, and the individual differences that exist in learner response to hypermedia. The findings indicate that the benefits of hypermedia in education are limited to learning tasks reliant on repeated manipulation and searching of information. There exist significant individual differences in the response of learners to this technology. The majority of findings do not provide eviudence for increased learning in hypermedia environments, a conclusion that runs contrary to the popular advocacy of this technology for training and education.