Eyuboglu, F. and Orhan, F. (2011). Paging and scrolling: Cognitive styles in learning from hypermedia. British Journal of Educational Technology. 42:1, pp50-65. doi: 1 0.1111/j.1467-8535.2009.00998.x
Eyuboglu and Orhan put together a well-organized and quantitative study assessing the connection between cognitive styles and hypermedia. Literature review showed that multiple factors, to include learner demographic, contribute to the usefulness of hypermedia as a learning tool. The study was necessary, relevant in educational technology, and well-targeted as a narrowly defined and specific need.
The presence of typos and grammatical errors made this a frustrating read at times, and the authors spent a lot of time (too much) defining semantics of cognitive style versus learning style versus information processing style. The point of their statements were often so poorly placed or transitioned, it was hard to follow if they were stating something as support or contrast to their research questions. There was no clearly defined hypothesis, other than wondering if there would be a difference between learning and navigation patterns of different cognitive styles when using paging and scrolling in hypermedia. They added a research question regarding satisfaction level of the different learners, which would not directly contribute to the learning and pattern differences they were seeking although it would have proved relevant had results deviated.
The results are significant; if cognitive styles are not a factor in the effectiveness of learning from hypermedia, individual learning is not necessarily a consideration in instructional design of paging and scrolling. This leaves the content representation method up to the designer and allows them to choose what is easier or makes more sense in representing the content. This is a useful reference for web content and LMS designers, but not likely relevant in the field of simulations.