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This most unusual book results from the NATO Advanced Research Work­ shop, "Designing Hypertext/Hypermedia for Learning", held in Rottenburg am Neckar, FRO, from July 3-8, 1989. The idea for the workshop resulted from the burgeoning interest in hypertext combined with the frustrating lack of literature on leaming applications for hypertext. There was little evidence in 1988 that hypertext could successfully support learning out­ comes. A few projects were investigating hypertext for learning, but few conclusions were available and little if any advice on how to design hyper­ text for learning applications was available. Could hypertext support learning objectives? What mental processing requirements are unique to learning outcomes? How would the processing requirements of learning outcomes interact with unique user processing requirements of browsing and constructing hypertext? Should hypertext information bases be restruc­ tured to accommodate learning outcomes? Should the user interface be manipulated in order to support the task functionality of learning outcomes? Does the hypertext structure reflect the intellectual requirements of learning outcomes? What kinds of learning-oriented hypertext systems were being developed and what kinds of assumptions were these systems making? These and other questions demonstrated the need for this workshop. The workshop included presentations, hardware demonstrations, sharing and browsing of hypertexts, and much discussion about all of the above. These were the experiences that you, the reader of this book, unfortunately did not experience.



Hypermedia and Learning


Chapter 1. Problems and Issues in Designing Hypertext/Hypermedia for Learning

The growth in interest in hypertext and hypermedia (hereafter referred to by the more generic term, hypermedia) in recent years has been staggering. Hypermedia systems are being used extensively in software engineering and collaborative problem solving applications, for online documentation and information retrieval and help systems, as writing aids, and more recently as authoring tools for instruction and learning. Although hypermedia promises great potential for instruction, its efficacy is neither established nor without likely problems. Hypermedia learning systems will place more responsibility on the learner for accessing, sequencing and deriving meaning from the information. This added responsibility will entail added cognitive processing requirements on the learners. In many ways, this increased processing load appears consistent with constructive conceptions of learning and therefore desirable. Yet, it is not clear whether users will be able to assume this additional responsibility and processing load. The issues that this Advanced Research Workshop considered were how the hypermedia information and environment should be organized and displayed and how the information processing requirements specific to learning outcomes can be facilitated by hypermedia.
David H. Jonassen, R. Scott Grabinger

Chapter 2. Hypertext for Learning

Bush [1], Engelbart [2], and Nelson [3] were among the first to propose systems that augment the human intellect by managing information stored in what is now called hypertext. These early proponents had a strong sense that the connections in hypertext were linked ideas, that associations could be easily and arbitrarily forged, and that information could be personalized, freely annotated, freely viewed, and readily accessed. They proposed systems that offer a direct manipulation approach to information management and rely heavily on the user’s increased use of visual cues, spatial reasoning, and associative thought. The revolutionary content of their ideas was, and continues to be, the extent to which these systems engage the user as an active participant in interactions with information.
John J. Leggett, John L. Schnase, Charles J. Kacmar

Chapter 3. Popular Fallacies about Hypertext

Some writers on educational hypertext appear to be reinventing the wheel, and others insist on using a square or polygonal one when perfectly good round, rubber ones have been available for several years. Many dogmatic pronouncements one encounters at conferences and in published discussions of hypertext incorporate a few popular fallacies. Having taught with a hypertext system for four years, I have become convinced that some of these fallacies arise, quite understandably, because so few people have worked with growing, expanding bodies of hypertext materials that students actually use and to which they contribute.
George P. Landow

Chapter 4. Models of Hypertext Structure and Learning

The dominant conception of the hypertext form is a medium for information retrieval rather than learning, and where learning is considered, it is usually only of a fairly rudimentary form. An important question is whether the ‘control’ given to the hypertext user may be merely illusory, since the fragmenting effect of the non-linear text forms can make it more difficult for the reader to perceive an author’s intended argument structure. The artefacts introduced by the hypertext form, in order to improve accessibility, mitigate against its use as the principal teaching medium. It is suggested that designers of hypertext materials might usefully adopt some of the supposed constraints of the linear text form, and that until various problems have been overcome, hypertext might best be used to supplement rather than supplant printed materials for many learning purposes.
Peter Whalley

Designing the Information Model


Chapter 5. Macro-Operations for Hypertext Construction

The use of scientific and technical journals is essential for research and tertiary level education. Because of the vast number of journals available today efficient access methods to full text information are required.
Rainer Hammwöhner

Chapter 6. Concepts as Hypertext Nodes: The Ability to Learn While Navigating Through Hypertext Nets

Most hypertext models assume a network metaphor consisting of information nodes with labelled or typed links to similar nodes. The nodes in hypermedia systems can be typed as text, graphics, moving images, or a combination of these three. The information content of such a system depends on the granularity or “chunk size” of the information units or nodes. Different nodes will have different amounts of information. The granularity of information in hypertext is not determined by the hypertext metaphor but rather by the way information is organized by the designer of the system. As such systems allow the size of nodes to vary from large chunks of text, graphics, etc. and pictures at one end of a continuum to concept labels. Such an entity is defined as “the minimum entity that signifies or denotes an understanding by a user and has meaning by itself”. A singularity state for the node is represented by the concept label. In some systems a document consisting of many thousand characters will compromise nodes (eg Intermedia) [1,2]. In others, only a few characters can constitute a “node, for example, an explanation box in Microsoft Guide.
Ray McAleese

Chapter 7. Graph Computation as an Orientation Device in Extended and Cyclic Hypertext Networks

Hypertext techniques have evolved from the concept of virtual information, which states: you may see the information where you need it without actually copying and replacing the information. This position is supported by those who promote cognitive support for the user, such as adapting the information to be presented to the cognitive need of an individual. The same is true for the phase of text creation: Inserting text, merging different perspectives, parsing semantic clusters, pruning etc. They are all principles of virtuality and the flexibility to combine nodes to information. Hypertext can stand alone in educational settings. The best of our interactive systems are or will be equipped with browsers, digressive tools, sound and even video.
Piet Kommers

Chapter 8. Discussion: Formal and Informal Learning with Hypermedia

Hypermedia (which includes hypertext as a subset) is an emerging technology which has the potential to radically enhance our interaction with the information world we live in. George Landow expresses this view best when he states “Hypertext … changes the way texts exist and the way we read them.” His comment does not imply that texts as we traditionally know them will disappear, but rather that new forms of text will appear (and are already appearing!). Hypermedia is an additive technology in this respect, just as the computer was (despite early predictions of the paperless society). As such, it is an enhancing technology, and while the field of information technology is still very much in the early stages of its involvement with hypermedia, it is already useful to examine how such enhancement can be best realized, particularly in the area of learning and instruction.
Philippe C. Duchastel

Designing the User Interface


Chapter 9. Evaluating Hypertext Usability

The overall acceptability of a computer system is a combination of its social acceptability and practical acceptability. As an example of social acceptability of hypertext systems, consider the French LYRE system [1] for teaching poetry. LYRE allows the students to see the poem from various “viewpoints”, each highlighting certain parts of the poem as hypertext anchors to relevant annotations and allowing the student to add new annotations. LYRE does not, however, allow the student to add new viewpoints since that capability is reserved for the teacher. The premise is that students should work within the framework set up by the teacher and not construct completely new ways to analyze the poem. This is obviously socially acceptable in the Southern European tradition in France, and indeed an alternative design might well have been deemed socially unacceptable in that country because it would have undermined the teacher’s authority. On the other hand, many people in Denmark, where Scandinavian attitudes are more prevalent, would view the current design of LYRE as socially unacceptable because it limits the students’ potential for independent discovery.
Jakob Nielsen

Chapter 10. Hypertexts as an Interface for Learners: Some Human Factors Issues

There are several book-length reviews concerned with interface design [1,2,3]. The general aspects of good practice in screen design and dialogue construction will apply to hypertexts just as surely as they apply to other instances of human computer interaction. Hypertexts do raise additional issues relating to ways in which readers can be helped to move within the information resource and to exploit novel information handling techniques (e.g. creating their own personal links within the material).
Patricia Wright

Chapter 11. Designing the Human-Computer Interface to Hypermedia Applications

In this chapter, I will discuss the human-computer interface as it pertains to hypermedia systems and outline the issues that emerged in the discussion group on this subject that was held at Rottenberg. In order to represent the many diverse views expressed, I will describe the general dichotomies of opinion which divided participants and try to draw them together into a cohesive view. The notions of the interface as multi-levelled, adaptable and conventional are discussed. Coherence is best obtained by viewing learning as consisting of multiple tasks for which no one interface will prove optimal. In order to develop a usable interface the designer must therefore understand the end-users in terms of the learning tasks they will be performing with the system.
Andrew Dillon

Hypermedia and Instruction


Chapter 12. Hypermedia and Instruction: Where is the Match?

We have recently begun a major project to design, develop, and implement an enriched learning environment (ELE) for undergraduate education. Our initial thinking was very technology oriented. A hypermedia environment would allow students to explore a knowledge domain and see the relations between ideas; it would allow students and instructors to create new links and new units of information reflecting their interests and needs; it would permit faculty to catalogue and organize their instructional materials and permit them to create high quality text, graphics, and even animation in the comfort of their office; and finally, it would permit students and faculty to communicate and debate. We were attempting to define a technology that would be all things for all students and instructors. It would be a tool that would serve any use of a database and any communication in the learning process. Those rather naive notions have long since passed.
Thomas M. Duffy, Randy A. Knuth

Chapter 13. Learning About Learning From Hypertext

Hypertext is a term now applied so widely that it is no longer clear that it means anything other than the ability to retrieve information rapidly and relevantly by direct selection. In fact, the differences between hypertext systems for, say, information management, specialist writing environments, design or learning systems, so outweigh their similarities that it no longer seems sensible to talk about hypertext as though it is a generic technology with features, such as browsers, that are intrinsically desirable. Instead, it is more important to consider hypertext within the context of specific applications, each with its own task demands. In this paper we attempt first to illustrate this specificity by considering some of the features of hypertext from the point of view of learning requirements. Secondly, we ask how we can actually discover what the optimal features of a hypertext learning system might be.
Terry Mayes, Mike Kibby, Tony Anderson

Chapter 14. Psychopedagogic Aspects of Hypermedia Courseware

One of the most promising technological advances for education is represented by the text and image driven, non-linear techniques of information handling and searching of the hypermedia architectures.We will not be arguing in favor of the important role these techniques will play in CAL [1], because we think everybody agrees on that point. It also seems inappropriate to theoretically explain, using currently accepted learning theories, the reasons for the purported efficiency. Instead, based on an example that we are developing, we will suggest some research lines that will help to improve the pedagogical uses of hypertext. Nevertheless many questions arise about the efficient use of these techniques. The answers to these questions are vital, but we are not able to tackle all of them. We shall attempt to answer the following: What are the hypermedia characteristics that deserve to be studied in order to improve the efficiency of courseware? Theoretically there are three types of hypermedia: non-structared, semantically structured, and hierarchically structured. In the case of educational programs, all these types occur together in every program, except perhaps non-structured hypermedia environments, which we very much doubt exists.
Armando J. Oliveira, Duarte Costa Pereira

Chapter 15. From Instructional Text to Instructional Hypertext: An Experiment

Hypertext and hypermedia systems may lead to the development of new educational products, integrating several aspects of information technology and instructional science. We conducted an experiment with a hypertext program in an existing distance education course. The experiences should provide principles for educational hypermedia design. We start by examining hypertext and learning and the possible implications of hypertext for higher distance education. We then report on our experiment and conclude with some recommendations for educational hypermedia.
Wil A. Verreck, Anja Lkoundi

Chapter 16. Journal Articles as Learning Resource: What Can Hypertext Offer?

Although paper has reigned unchallenged for hundreds of years as the only viable publishing medium, recent advances in computer-based technology have demonstrated that electronic storage and retrieval have several advantages such as speed of access and cost-effectiveness. Furthermore, these advances have also led to the development of alternative publishing media. In particular, the optical disk based systems such as CD-ROM have been shown to be viable both technically and commercially for a variety of publishing ventures ranging from music to encyclopaedias. Conceptually at least, the age of the electronic book is upon us.
Cliff McKnight, John Richardson, Andrew Dillon

Chapter 17. Hypertext/hypermedia-like Environments and Language Learning

In this paper I am using the term “language learning” for language acquisition, language instruction, and language production. Traditionally language learning is divided into five areas which I shall label “dimensions” in this paper:
  • reading
  • listening
  • writing
  • speaking
  • semiotics
Othmar Foelsche

Chapter 18. Collaboration in Hypermedia Environments

In order to achieve the goal of providing useful expert knowledge for any kind of electronic education or for accessing systems as sources of information, it is necessary to provide collaborative capabilities. The quality of the information stored in the system is dependent on the way all the information contributors can access and share their knowledge.
Martin Richartz, Tom D. Rüdebusch

Hypermedia Design Process


Chapter 19. The Hypertext/Hypermedia Solution— But What Exactly is the Problem?

We have come a long way in the last thirty or so years, from the general acceptance of the behaviorist definition of learning as a “specific change in behavior or capacity to behave”, to cognitivist formulations that lay stress on the aquisition and internal organization of knowledge in the learner’s mind. Recently, the development of schema theory has put particular stress on the internal organization of knowledge. Learning is seen “as a process of change in the way that the individual views something, rather than the mere aggregation of facts,” as Peter Whalley states in his chapter.
Alexander J. Romiszowski

Chapter 20. Evaluating Hypermedia-Based Learning

Each time a new technology is applied to teaching and learning, questions about fundamental principles and methods arise. Television and computers, for example, have raised issues related to learning theory, curricula (content, sequence) and methods (delivery, evaluation). Educational technologists are forever reconciling the tensions between learning theory and the practical applications of technology to instruction [1]. The current interest in hypermedia as an educational technology once again raises these issues. The purpose of this paper is to propose a multi-faceted approach to evaluating hypermedia-based learning with particular emphasis on the learning process. This approach is aimed at projects that assume that learning is a constructive process that includeds hands-on activities as well as traditional expository methods. The methods discussed apply to a variety of hypermedia systems and are meant to help designers and instructors assess the effectiveness of hypermedia-based learning.
Gary Marchionini

Conceptual Foundations for Designing Hypermedia Systems for Learning


Chapter 21. Some Examples of Hypertext’s Applications

Hypertext or more generally hypermedia fits various applications. The general idea of three dimensional reading appears in a software engineering application as well as in a teaching program. Of course, the hypertext structures dedicated to both applications differ greatly.
Eric Bruillard, Gérard Weidenfeld

Chapter 22. Hyperinformation Requirements for an Integrated Authoring/Learning Environment

This chapter reports about the mutual influences of hypermedia technology and integrated computer supported authoring/ learning. It presents a set of recommendations for adaptations and extensions of hypermedia systems, leading to a “hyperinformation system” suitable as a design center for integrated authoringAearning environments.
Max Mühlhäuser

Chapter 23. Elaborating Arguments: Writing, Learning, and Reasoning in a Hypertext Based Environment for Authoring

The topic of this workshop focused on the applications of hypertext/hypermedia for learning. Addressing research on hypertext this way raises a classical question of designing instructional material: What kinds of tools and concepts of learning do the authors have for preparing material to be used in the learning situation? This question is especially relevant for the construction of computer-based learning environments where the learner is confronted with the kind of tutoring or coaching situation found in intelligent tutoring systems [1,2,3]. In any case, we consider the learning situation as one where the author of the material wants to communicate knowledge about a given subject. While publishing is a means of communicating knowledge. writing is the activity of producing knowledge. Authors working on a subject start with some initial ideas, formulate and reformulate their ideas and their wording, retrieve and incorporate related work, design, compose and redesign documents in a nested, cyclic publishing process. With hypermedia we consider a learning situation where the learning material is not a printed book or a standard computer-assisted instruction program. Hypermedia offers innovative ways for designing learning materials as well as interactive learning situations. Two main features of hypertext — machine supported links and interactive branching facilities [4]— introduce the kind of interactivity for which instructional authors have been waiting for a long time. The resulting learning materials constitute a special category of hyperdocuments. But qualitative new products demand innovative tools. In this paper, we discuss the design of tools which support authors in the process of creating hyperdocuments in a cognitively adequate way. Our approach addresses the new kinds of final products as well as the situation for creating and learning from these new products.
Norbert A. Streitz, Jörg Hannemann

Chapter 24. Alexandria: A Learning Resources Management Architecture

The original library at Alexandria was the repository for all the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of the ancient world. Founded by Ptolemy I in the third century B.C., Alexandria represented the ultimate resource for scholars of its day.
Daniel M. Russell


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