Randomized comparisons among health informatics students identify hypertutorial features as improving web-based instruction.

Publication Date



AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2003; 2003: 328–330.


Hypertutorials optimize five features - presentation, learner control, practice, feedback, and elaborative learning resources. Previous research showed graduate students significantly and overwhelmingly preferred Web-based hypertutorials to conventional "Book-on-the-Web" statistics or research design lessons. The current report shows that the source of hypertutorials' superiority in student evaluations of instruction lies in their hypertutorial features. Randomized comparisons between the two methodologies were conducted in two successive iterations of a graduate level health informatics research design and evaluation course. The two versions contained the same text and graphics, but differed in the presence or absence of hypertutorial features: Elaborative learning resources, practice, feedback, and amount of learner control. Students gave high evaluations to both Web-based methodologies, but consistently rated the hypertutorial lessons as superior. Significant differences localized in the hypertutorial subscale that measured student responses to hypertutorial features.


Attitude to Computers, Computer-Assisted Instruction, Education, Graduate, Humans, Hypermedia, Internet, Medical Informatics, Program Evaluation, Schools, Health Occupations, Texas


PMCID: PMC1480293