The Eighth ACM International Hypertext Conference

Southampton, UK
April 6-11, 1997



Uses of Hypermedia: From Design to the classroom

George P. Landow, Brown University,

Dan Russell, Apple Computers

Intended audience:

This tutorial is intended for those needing to understand the many uses of hypermedia, including the World-Wide Web, throughout the educational spectrum. Some familiarity with computing will be assumed, but attendees need not be hypermedia implementors. This tutorial is appropriate for anyone interested in education or instruction (academic or industrial), or for those participants that want to see the scope of real-world applications of hypermedia. In Particular, this tutorial should interest anyone interested in teaching with WWW materials who wishes to learn about the relation of html- based hypermedia to other forms of it and the lessons to be drawn from richer versions of hypermedia.


Hypermedia, a powerful tool for creating and delivering educational materials, combines many forms of media into a rich representational system creating possibilities for dramatically expanded educational opportunities. In this tutorial we'll examine the state-of-the-art in educational hypermedia, exploring not only what's currently available, but also what is will be coming in the near-term future. Examples of currently available hypermedia will be examined, and heuristics for selecting, using, and creating educational hypermedia will be given. The instructor's experiences in using hypermedia in education will highlight the difficulties and opportunities hypermedia presents.

Topics to be addressed include:

1. Introduction

a. Definition of hypertext and hypermedia

b. Is the World-Wide Web true hypertext?

c. Forms linking and their implications for education

2. The different forms of hypertext/hypermedia systems

a. (Chiefly) text-based systems

b. Multimedia delivery systems

c. Subject matter and instructional analysis tools

d. Design and development systems

e. Read-only vs. read-write systems

f. stand-alone vs, distributed systems

g. Other ways of distinguishing hypermedia systems (and documents) and their educational uses.

3. The different roles for hypermedia in education (examples of each)

a. Factual information, tutorials, and contextualization.

b. Teaching and enabling critical, complex thinking.

c. Collaborative work and collaborative writing.

d. inventing new forms of writing

4. What's currently available--examples and demonstrations

a. Storyspace

b. World Wide Web

d. Voyager Expanded Book and Multimedia

e. DynaText

f. Microcosm

g. Miscellaneous other systems (Intermedia, IDE, Hyperwriter!, Keyboard, Guide, Interleaf Worldview, etc.)

5. How to create hypertext/hypermedia materials

a. What hypertext has to offer different disciplines -- examples from humanities, social sciences, and physical sciences.

b. Designing and implementing hypertext webs--

(i) use of stylistic devices unique to electronic media,

(ii) organizing devices,

(iii) author vs. system organization,

(iv) electronic book vs electronic library model,

(v) axial vs network organization,

(vi) degrees of completion necessary,

(vii) incorporating student work,

(viii) bootstrapping hypertext materials --or how students can create materials..

c. Teaching with hypertext

(i) reconfiguring assignments, evaluation;

(ii) how to combine with print and other non electronic materials;

(iii) exercises used to introduce hypertext component to class;

(iv) number of machines, student access, and other practical issues.

6. Experiences in using hypermedia for instruction

a. reconfiguring time of learning

b. using same materials for multi-skill levels

c. effects on library use, discussion, writing

d. tradeoffs between different hypermedia systems

7. Summary

a. The utility of hypermedia in the classroom

b. Precautions and general advice

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