Interfaces for e-learning: cognitive styles and software agents for web-based learning support

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Faculty of Business and Public Management


School of Business




Webster, R. (2001). Interfaces for E-learning: Cognitive styles and software agents for Web-based learning support. In Meeting at the Crossroads: 18th Conference of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education. Melbourne, Australia.


The amount, range and quality of information available to students and other academic users have increased enormously in recent years. Consequently, it is possible for individuals to either suffer from information overload or to get lost in cyberspace while trying to locate relevant information. This paper looks at the relevance of cognitive styles and software agents to human computer interaction and interface design. Each student has a cognitive profile which can help the individual develop his or her learning skills and strategies in the light of useful self knowledge. The combination of prior knowledge of an individual’s cognitive style with the technical solutions offered by adaptive and intelligent interfaces suggest a possible way forward with respect to the problems of information overload experienced when using the Web. The application of a particular view of cognitive styles to information handling and interface design is considered. Adaptive interfaces and Internet agents are looked at in relation to moving towards more individual designs for interacting with the Net and Web.

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