Comprehension and navigation of networked hypertexts

Helen Blom* (Corresponding Author), Eliane Segers, Harry Knoors, Daan Hermans, Ludo Verhoeven

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
133 Downloads (Pure)


This study aims to investigate secondary school students' reading comprehension and navigation of networked hypertexts with and without a graphic overview compared to linear digital texts. Additionally, it was studied whether prior knowledge, vocabulary, verbal, and visual working memory moderated the relation between text design and comprehension. Therefore, 80 first-year secondary school students read both a linear text and a networked hypertext with and without a graphical overview. Logfiles registered their navigation. After reading the text, students answered textbased multiple choice questions and drew mindmaps to assess their structural knowledge of each text content. It was found that both textbased and structural knowledge were lower after reading a networked hypertext than a linear text, especially in students with lower levels of vocabulary. Students took generally more time to read the hypertext than the linear text. We concluded that networked hypertexts are more challenging to read than linear texts and that students may benefit from explicit training on how to read hypertexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-314
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of computer assisted learning
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Hypertext reading
  • Networked hypertext
  • Reading comprehension
  • Hypertext navigation


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