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User interface design guidelines for supporting metacognition in hypermedia learning systems

, Northern Illinois University, United States

Northern Illinois University . Awarded


This dissertation sought to address the problem of limited guidance on designing user interfaces of hypermedia learning systems so they can facilitate student-directed learning through supporting metacognition. The purpose was to develop user interface design guidelines that could help alleviate this problem. The main research question that directed this study was: What is the nature of user interface support for metacognition in hypermedia learning systems targeted at grades 6–12?

The method of inquiry used was qualitative content analysis. This entailed conducting a literature analysis, with particular emphasis on conceptual analysis of metacognition, and hypermedia courseware analysis. The former resulted in an analytic construct in the form of a data collection protocol, which was used as a frame of reference for data collection and analysis. The process of hypermedia selection was purposive and theory-based, with the goal of including courseware that potentially manifested support for metacognition.

Seven categories of metacognitive regulatory activities were identified, namely, task analysis or problem definition, goal setting, planning, monitoring, control, evaluation, and reflection. Twenty-six general metacognitive activity support strategies were also identified. These were implemented in various ways among the eight analyzed hypermedia courseware products. None of the analyzed programs included all 26 metacognitive activity support strategies. The degree of support implemented among the programs ranged from 10 to 23 strategies.

The contention in this study is that the three existing hypermedia, design concepts, namely, content, structure, and interaction strategies, are inadequate for hypermedia learning systems. A design concept is needed that would be concerned with how learning of the content contained in the hypermedia learning system could be supported. This fourth hypermedia design concept was referred to as content learning support strategies.

Conclusions are presented as user interface design guidelines, which address all four hypermedia learning systems design concepts. These guidelines are presented in the form of conceptual guidelines (general metacognitive activity support strategies) and operational guidelines (implementation strategies), which take into account user interface design principles.


Njongwe, T.L.T. User interface design guidelines for supporting metacognition in hypermedia learning systems. Ph.D. thesis, Northern Illinois University. Retrieved October 15, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.

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