Hypermedia versus Traditional Classroom Instruction: A Look at the Research Designs, Methods, and Theoretic Perspectives

By Bacchus, Colin B.; Frackson, Mumba et al. | International Journal of Instructional Media, Summer 2007 | Go to article overview

Hypermedia versus Traditional Classroom Instruction: A Look at the Research Designs, Methods, and Theoretic Perspectives


Bacchus, Colin B., Frackson, Mumba, Chabalengula, Vivien M., Bassoppo-Moyo, T. C., International Journal of Instructional Media


INTRODUCTION

Several studies have compared hypermedia and traditional instructional approaches (Kinzie, Strauss and Foss 1993; Kurtz and Holden, 2001; Psaromiligkos and Retalis, 2003). Most studies have focused on the advantages of hypermedia instruction over traditional instruction. Not much has been written and discussed on the designs, methods, and theoretical frameworks used to compare these instructional modes. In addition, the literature showed that few reviews have been done in this area that are comprehensive and aimed at developing recommendations for improved research designs, frameworks, and methods.

It is most likely that educators would agree that one of the two instructional modes is better than the other in terms of student's learning. This agreement still leaves them at sea about the evaluation designs, theoretical frameworks, articulation, and implementation of these instructional modes. Therefore, this article attempts to fill this gap.

The main purpose of this article was to synthesize research literature on the use of hypermedia and traditional instructional modes at different levels of education. Each instructional mode was examined from the student achievement perspective. The article also examined the designs, theoretical frameworks and methods employed in the evaluation of these instructional modes. Recommendations for improved designs, methods, and frameworks in future studies have been made. Some areas for future research have also been suggested.

This literature review of research studies has some implications for teacher education, curriculum design, and technology use at different levels of education. It is also anticipated that the information in this article could be of help to those who are involved in: designing education software, providing professional development to teachers, and writing textbooks.

Several studies have explored the use of both hypermedia and traditional instructional modes at different levels of education (Reif, 1987; Kurtz and Holden, 2001; La Velle, 2002). The main focus has been on establishing the effectiveness of each of the two instructional modes in terms of student educational outcomes. For example, Kurtz and Holden (2001) found that organic chemistry students who used real-time interactive video simulations performed better on achievement test than those who attended traditional method. La Velle (2002) argued that simulated experiments provide students with chances to get a wider understanding of what would happen if one or more experimental conditions were altered. Kinzie, Strauss and Foss (1993) examined high school students' performance, achievement, attitudes, and self-efficacy on frog dissections using an interactive videodisc-based (IVD) simulation as a substitute for using live frogs and as a preparatory tool used prior to live frog dissections. They found that the IVD simulations were effective in promoting students' learning of frog anatomy and dissection procedures. In another study, Predavec (2001) examined biology university students' learning outcomes by comparing the achievement on web-based E-Rat interactive rat anatomy to conventional dissection. Students were assessed on their learning using text based questions, pictures of structures, and dissections questions, and questions on real structures including dissected rats and prepared slides. Students who completed the E-Rat simulation did better than those students who completed the dissection in a face-to-face environment. The study also showed that there was a significant relationship between time spent on the activity and the marks gained - implying that because students doing the E-rat spent more time, they seemed to have learned the material better than those who did the actual dissection. Predavec, further stated that the possible reasons for the increase in achievement was the flexibility of time using the computer-based instruction, the ability of students to see all structures clearly, and the absence of blood and smell(especially for student who react to this). …

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