The study proposes a hierarchical hyper concept map (or HHCM) course system. A HHCM course consists of a navigation map, concept maps, and hypermedia documents. The navigation map is a guide to the course, illustrating how the course is composed of learning units. The concept map demonstrates the conceptual structure of each unit, and each node in the HHCM is linked to the hypermedia document, which has a more detailed illustration of the concept. Such a combination for the HHCM course can be viewed as a three-dimensional structure of course representation. The effects of HHCM as a course representation were empirically tested. The experimental results found that students who learn from the course represented by HHCM achieve better learning than those who learn from a linearly represented course. Moreover, students can learn more efficiently than those who learn from the course represented by navigation maps. These findings suggest that the HHCM has a good potential as a device for designing Web-based courses.
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