Conducted by Evangelos Triantaﬁllou, Andreas Pomportsis, and Stavros Demetriadis of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. As Triantafillou (2003) states, the objective of this study is "an attempt to examine some of the critical variables, which may be important in the design of an adaptive hypermedia system based on student’s cognitive style." (p. 4) Their system offers users two modes of control to users and users have the option of changing between the two at any time. Learner control mode allows the user to view the entire hierarchy of concepts and topics and move freely through the course via links in the left sidebar whereas program control mode is automated by the system by only allowing the user to move forwards or backwards in the course's content structure.
In the first two phases of the study, an expert review and one-to-one evaluation was conducted. The expert review consisted of "a teaching/training expert, an instructional design expert, a subject-matter expert, an educational technologist and a subject sophisticates (i.e. a student who has successfully completed the course)" while the one-to-one evaluation consisted of ten fourth year undergraduate students who were studying Multimedia Technology Systems (2003, p. 11).
In regards to program control mode, subjects suggested that the instructional guidance at the bottom of the screen should be reduced to give more screen space to the content. Hyperlinks were colored by importance to persuade or dissuade students' choices, however, the subjects did not like that the gray links(signifying content deemed currently unsuitable for the user) were not click-able(2003, p. 11-12).
Following the feedback, the evaluators improved the system and started a new phase. For the third phase, ten more fourth year undergraduate Multimedia Technology Systems students were selected based on their score making sure it fell within one standard deviation of the mean. The selection of the subjects was in line to represent the actual student population.
Following the third phase, the feedback showed that the majority of the students were satisfied with the initial adaptation based on their cognitive style and that they found useful the ability to change the initial stage through the student model. They also indicated as very important, having different instructional modes in order to accommodate their individual needs. Finally, they were satisfied with the ability to have complete control over how the system served them content.
Triantafillou's iterative design of a hypermedia system takes steps towards creating a successful adaptive model. Two modes of control exist to the user allowing them more or less freedom to peruse the content of the course. Both users who used the system with program control and learner control successfully improved their pretest performance to their post-test performance. More research is necessary to see if students utilizing program control can achieve levels of improvement on par or better than students utilizing learner control.
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