Hypermedia, including multimedia

Brenda Boeglin-Quintana

This page has been designed for you so you can explore the topic indicated with ease. Hypermedia and multimedia make exploring, discovering, and revisiting information more visually stimulating and makes navigation to other parts of information, related to the desired topic, occur with greater ease. Enjoy your exploration!

Feel free to view the video below embedded from youtube.com, it will share with you features of hypermedia and multimedia all in one fun presentation!

Description/definition of hypermedia and multimedia:

  • If you use the internet, you more than likely have encountered hypermedia, often used synonymously with hypertext, and/or multimedia use on website pages. Hypermedia refers to the buttons and/or text that you click to take you to another page, video, graphic, song, etc. Buttons can be in the form of an icon, picture, or be simple in design and look like any other button you might push in "real life". Text that you would click to hyperlink you to other information is usually a different color than the rest of the text on the page and is often underlined and/or followed by an arrow, indicating that it will take you to another place (as seen below). Multimedia refers to the content of the pages we encounter, this content varies but contains more than one of the following: text, sound, video, graphics, animation and more. The use of hypermedia and multimedia makes navigation of web pages easier for the user and more exciting.
  • From whatis.com : "Hypermedia, a term derived from hypertext, extends the notion of the hypertext to include links among any set of multimedia objects, including sound, motion video, and virtual reality. It can also connote a higher level of user/network interactivity than the interactivity already implicit in hypertext."
  • From webopedia.com : "Hypermedia is an extension to hypertext that supports linking graphics, sound, and video elements in addition to text elements. The World Wide Web is a partial hypermedia system since is supports graphical hyperlinks and links to sound and video files. New hypermedia systems under development will allow objects in computer videos to be hyperlinked."
  • "Hypermedia refers to a unique kind of software environment that combines the characteristics of both hypertext and multimedia. The term multimedia has been around a long time, long before computers, but today it is usually used to describe the integration of text, graphics, animation, sound, video and music in an interactive software environment." (Turner & Handler, 1997, p. 25)
  • "Multimedia is operationally defined as an environment that offers learners access to information in a variety of formats, which can include text, still images, animation, video, and audio presentations." (Moos & Marroquin, 2010, p. 265)

Pro's of creating with hypermedia and multimedia:

  • Creating a product that is more visually stimulating draws the user in, in essence making them "part" of their journey.
  • Unlimited availability to information available in other places.
  • The ability to create a fully detailed product through the use of links, videos, music, etc.
  • High motivation for learners (Moos & Marroquin, 2010, p. 272)

Con's of creating with hypermedia and multimedia:

  • Over-stimulating a user
  • Losing sight of the intended information while "beefing" up the information to make it more interesting
  • Losing the user to linked sources
  • Lack of prior knowledge of domain will negatively impact learner motivation (Moos & Marroquin, 2010, p. 272)

What research says about hypermedia and multimedia in education:

"...students who learn in multimedia or hypertext environments show greater gain in areas of language development than students who learn in more traditional environments." (O'Hara & Pritchard, 2008, p. 60)

"Hypermedia environments can be tailored to meet the needs of English learners by incorporating an appropriate amount of text for the students’ language level and by adding images and sounds. These environments also provide students with learning choices and allow them to navigate at their own pace. Thus, the use of this type of hypermedia environment in our project helped students stay engaged and on task, and lessened their frustration level during the learning process." (O'Hara & Pritchard, 2008, p. 64)

Students must be familiar with the domain information is being presented to them in. Without prior knowledge of the platform they are navigating students' motivation will be negatively impacted. This can be fixed by slowly introducing students to hypermedia and multimedia tools, and allowing them to explore using these tools prior to presenting content information in such a way. If students are familiar with these domains, research shows that motivation in learning is increased. (Moos & Marroquin, 2010)

"Hypermedia instructional media are frequently associated with distance learning, and most authors point toward a new educational paradigm, with less overhead and more learning independence, allowing students to learn according to their individual styles. Yet, the new technology also holds promise within more traditional settings." (Chrisman & Harvey, 1998, p. 11)

Using hypermedia and multimedia tools to supplement course materials increases access to information on different platforms for students, offering different modes of learning content. However useful, the tools must be presented in a well organized way for students to benefit from the information. (Chrisman & Harvey, 1998)

"The world of contemporary students is bombarded with noise, color, and action; even their entertainment is interactive and high tech. This new environment has
impacted all levels of education..." (Howard, Ellis, & Rasmussen, 2004, p. 431)

"Educators are confronted by a dilemma: Students have become so accustomed to technology that new means must be employed to retain their interest during the educational process. Even their toys and games involve interactive technology. In an environment of colorful 3-D graphics with elaborate lighting and music soundtracks, students role play on split screens designed for cooperative play. Sitting in front of televisions and computer monitors for hours, they create 3-D characters and settings,
solve virtual mysteries, resolve virtual puzzles, or accomplish some virtual global phenomena. They travel through epochs of time making real-time tactical decisions about many events occurring simultaneously. Their virtual players even learn by experience, and their choices create reputations. The games come with tutorials and practice drills to enhance their characters' skills. Contemporary students are bombarded by noise, color, and fast action in virtually every aspect of their lives...Thus has the influx of media in our society impacted students' everyday lives and, therefore, learning. Because their surroundings and experiences are inundated with sights and sounds, contemporary students very quickly can become bored by slow-moving, traditional lectures and static textbooks; and effecting learning has become even more difficult. Educators, then, must find ways to exploit these "toys" and capitalize on technology in teaching." (Howard et al, 2004, p. 433-434)

"Our experience and that of other researchers and classroom teachers has shown that using hypermedia authoring tools in the classroom can be a powerful stimulus for
students to engage in this type of learning." (Turner & Handler, 1997, p. 26)

To read the studies used in this synopsis please visit the following files:


Alessi, S., & Trollip, R. (2001). Multimedia for Learning. Needham Heights: Allyn & Bacon.

Chrisman, N., & Harvey, F. (1998). Extending the classroom: Hypermedia-supported learning. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 22(1), 11-18.

Howard, W., Ellis, H., & Rasmussen, K. (2004). From the arcade to the classroom: Capitalizing on students' sensory rich media preferences in disciplined-based learning. College Student Journal, 38(3), 431-440.

O'Hara, S., & Pritchard, R. (2008). Hypermedia authoring as a vehicle for vocabulary development in middle school english as a second language classrooms. The Clearing House V. 82 No. 2 (November/December 2008) P. 60-5, 82(2), 60-65.

Moos, D., & Marroquin, E. (2010). Multimedia, hypermedia, and hypertext: Motivation considered and reconsidered. Computers in Human Behavior, 26(3), 265-276.

Turner, S.V., & Handler, M.G. (1997). Hypermedia in education: children as audience or authors?. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 6(1), 25-35.