Multimedia Interfaces for Educational Systems

Julika Matravers


The development of increasingly powerful computer technology has led to an increased interest in the development of user-centred computer interfaces. A user-centred interface is expected to provide a high level of usability to the computer user. This usability can be supported by minimising the cognitive load of the user, supporting his/ her individual cognitive style, providing supportiveness in terms of appropriate guidance through the interaction and making the user feel comfortable with the system. However, little attention has been paid to the fact that educational systems put more specific constraints on the interface and that the user of an educational system has particular characteristics that need to be accounted for.

This paper, therefore, investigates the factors of usability in the specific context of a learning interaction. It explores the possibilities of communication media and approaches used in current interface technologies and the way in which they can support the usability requirements of interfaces for learners. This paper concludes with the claim that the integration of different media into Multimedia interfaces is most suitable for educational systems since it best supports the manifold and demanding needs of a learner as a system user.


Computer-user Interface, Multimedia, Educational Computing

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