An investigation into text comprehensibility in dynamic electronic texts, hypertext and hypermedia

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Bourbonniere, Adeline Astrid
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Text comprehensibility is a concept of prime concern because of the complexity of factors that influence the comprehensibility of text. In light of what is already known about comprehension processing, print text comprehensibility and the importance of ensuring an optimal match between reader and text, research into text comprehensibility within complex electronic environments is of immediate concern as the use of computer technology becomes more prevalent in today's classrooms. In this study, the factors that lead to text comprehensibility in hypertext and hypermedia were identified using an integrative inquiry approach. Existing research regarding electronic text structure and text comprehensibility was analyzed and synthesized to provide new knowledge about text comprehensibility in electronic environments. The study focused on the following reader and text factors: readers' mental models for text representation, navigational issues of orientation and disorientation in hypertext and hypermedia, the role of strategic knowledge in complex electronic environments, the nature of support features available in these environments, and the issues related to individual reader differences and their effect on the support features. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)