The need for a hypertext instructional design methodology

Susan A. Mengel, William J. Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Educators are showing an interest in media rich presentation systems as a means of giving additional material to a class or of showing concepts in a graphical fashion during class. Educators have concerns, however, about the length of time it takes to design and implement media rich or multimedia systems, about copyright issues, and whether the system will be used more than once. They also want to be able to design the system using sound instructional principles, but may not have any time for acquiring such specialized knowledge and, indeed, they probably did not take any education classes while working on their advanced degrees. They do not want to spend a great deal of time in learning how to use a multimedia package nor do their students who may only need to do a multimedia system once to fulfill the requirements of a project or degree. Although educators and students could use expensive instructional design and multimedia packages, they can accomplish the same objectives with the World Wide Web (WWW) using the hypertext markup language (HTML) and SIMPLE designed by M. Hagler and B. Marcy at Texas Tech University. Both are easy to learn to use in a short period of time and are free to educators and students. Currently, however, neither HTML or SIMPLE incorporate instructional design, hypertext design, or interface design nor were they implemented to do so. HTML provides a mechanism for allowing media rich presentations to be made on the WWW and SIMPLE lets instructors pull already designed and implemented instructional materials together into a whole. To help educators and students design effective and instructionally sound systems quickly, a hypertext instructional design engineering process can be used to help them to concentrate on structuring their system and on monitoring design violations. The process includes a requirements stage, a specifications stage, an implementation stage, validation for each stage, and evaluation of the resulting system. The products of these stages are developed with object-oriented techniques which will eventually result in a hypertext system for instructional usage. The process has been utilized to develop a system for teaching machinists how to use a computer numerically controlled machine. It is currently being used for designing and implementing a network protocol analyzer tutorial and WWW courseware.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-380
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Transactions on Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996


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