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Identifying and Using Hypermedia Browsing Patterns

, Leeds Metropolitan University, United Kingdom ; , University of Bradford, United Kingdom ; , Leeds Metropolitan University, United Kingdom

Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia Volume 11, Number 1, ISSN 1055-8896 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA


Hypermedia offers benefits for users who wish to find information and users who wish to learn about a particular topic (Jonassen & Grabinger, 1991). However, hypermedia is also plagued by drawbacks that were identified early in its inception (Conklin, 1987) but which are still present (Theng & Thimbleby, 1998). Recent hypermedia research has focused on alleviating one of the classic problems of hypermedia, the problem of the user becoming lost while using it. One such approach is called Adaptive-Hypermedia (AH), and seeks to reduce the navigation burden upon the user by removing links that are not useful (Brusilovsky, 1996). However, AH relies upon extracting information from the user about which links are likely to be useful or not useful. However, the process of obtaining information about the user can be distracting and does not adequately reflect the user's potentially complex goals. This is the crux of adaptive hypermedia (Brusilovsky, 1996). This article investigates one possible solution to this problem, identifying the browsing patterns that a user makes as they navigate and using them to infer what the user is using the hypermedia for. Once this information has been identified it can be used in an Adaptive Hypermedia System to aid the user in their navigation. The authors discuss their prototype hypermedia system, which is used to record and attach meaning to browsing patterns with a view to employing the information in future hypermedia systems. Experiments, conducted to investigate how different types of users make different browsing patterns as they used our prototype hypermedia system, are outlined and discussed. It is argued that these experiments and supporting research give strong grounds for the use of browsing patterns as a means of obtaining information about a user without distracting them.


Mullier, D., Hobbs, D. & Moore, D. (2002). Identifying and Using Hypermedia Browsing Patterns. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 11(1), 31-50. Norfolk, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved April 16, 2021 from .



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