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Does hypermedia really work for tutoring children?

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5 Author(s)
Costabile, M.F. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Bari Univ., Italy ; Roselli, T. ; Lanzilotti, R. ; Plantamura, P.
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The advent of multimedia technology has produced an explosion of research on the use of computers in education. Indeed, the computer is a rich communication tool that instructors can use for effectively illustrating ideas. However, compared to human communication, computers lack several features needed for satisfactory communication. They don't have analogies to eyes, ears, voice, and hands that humans use for acquiring information; neither can they create different information representations. Graphic, video, animation, and sound use in multimedia systems attempts to overcome these limitations to develop systems that can better communicate and cooperate with humans. Several recently developed hypermedia environments - both online (on the World Wide Web) or offline (on CD-ROM) - promote knowledge acquisition on a wide range of topics and attempt to teach problem-solving abilities in users. However, the basic question of whether hypermedia learning environments actually promote learning is still debatable, Our work here refers to a hypermedia designed for a particular category of users, namely children in a primary school. The hypermedia offers a tutoring component to teach basic logic concepts to children. We call this hypermedia Logiocando, a name obtained by merging two Italian words (Logica Giocando) and meaning "playing with logic." To determine whether this tutoring hypermedia really works (that is, to check its instructional validity), we performed two experiments that evaluated the pedagogical efficiency of the hypermedia in comparison to traditional classroom instruction.

Published in:

MultiMedia, IEEE  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 2 )