Chapter 6:

HyperCourseware Overview


Mark entered the classroom. He looked around and saw that his friend Tom was not there yet. He sat down in the second row at an empty workstation and entered his account name and password. After a few seconds the home page came up on the screen. It identified his workstation as "Joplin" and his "screen name" was Mark K. A label at the top of the screen confirmed that this was Psyc 443: Thinking and Problem Solving in the Electronic Age. At the bottom of the screen was a set of announcements for the class. Next week was the second exam. Friday would be a review session. The instructor also posted a short brain teaser: "Jack's mother had three sons. The first one was named Nickle. The second one was named Dime. What was the name of the third son?"

Mark clicked on an icon on the right side of the screen to look at the listing of his grades. He had a "B" on the first test and had all but one of his assignments in. He returned to the home screen and clicked on the assignments icon. The assignment that he had not yet completed was to write a 500 word paper on examples of divergent thinking. He clicked on the assignment and opened up a window to type in a few ideas that he had thought about before class. When he finished Tom sat down next to him. Mark clicked to return to the home screen and entered Tom as his partner for the class. He then clicked on the syllabus icon to see what the lecture was about today and then clicked on that line of the syllabus to open up the day's lecture notes. "Good timing," said Tom as the instructor began to lecture on that matierial. Mark and Tom, however, did not sit back passively listening to the lecture. As points were made by the instructor, they were called upon to respond electronically by typing ideas or to experiment with the concepts, diagrams, and simulations shown on their screen.

In this chapter we will at long last turn to explore an electronic classroom environment that has been in development since 1991. It is a prototype called "HyperCourseware." It provides both the instructor and the students with access to all of the educational materials and tools used in the switched-on classroom. Rather than re-engineering the educational process from the ground up, HyperCourseware starts from current models of the instructional process and attempts to preserve the same concepts while facilitating and enhancing them in the electronic form. As suggested in the previous chapter, HyperCourseware is organized around a set of educational metaphors related to tools and objects such as the syllabus, lectures, class rolls, etc.

HyperCourseware as a prototype is both an operational system and a set of concepts under development. At its most grandious level, the goal is to rehost electronically all of the things that go into education: the materials, (e.g., textbooks, maps and charts, lesson plans, etc.), the tools (e.g., the blackboard, notebooks, calculators, etc.), and the processes (e.g., lectures, discussions, question and answer, etc.). In this chapter, however, we will consider only the current implementation of HyperCourseware as presented in the opening scenario.

6.1 The HyperCourseware Approach

Many programs and projects in hypermedia for education have been content centered rather than curriculum or process oriented. Hypermedia packages have been generated for teaching specific topics such a echocardiology (Sebrechts, 1992), for providing a corpus of materials such as ancient Greek literature and archeology (Crane & Mylonas, 1988), or for exploring a medieval town (Calvani, 1990). While excellent materials abound, they have generally not embraced the full breadth of the educational objectives, tools, and materials that must be provided in the classroom from the beginning to the conclusion of a course let alone a degree.

In contrast, the objective embraced by HyperCourseware has been quite broad: to provide an integrated and seamless hypermedia infrastructure to support the full range of classroom activities (Norman & Carter, 1992). At the global level, HyperCourseware is organized around educational tools, materials, and objectives rather than around semantic or domain specific knowledge. It is only at the local or content level in the materials that knowledge structure becomes important and is incorporated into the materials by the instructor. Consequently, HyperCourseware was written to host any subject and to support many activities common across courses. These activities range from record keeping and on-line testing to hypermedia presentations and from individual exploration to group collaboration. HyperCoursware uses the conventional objects of classroom instruction and implements them in electronic form in the electronic classroom. Objects such as the course syllabus, the lesson plan, the lecture notes, the class roll, etc. are instantiated in graphic form in a hypermedia database. Furthermore, in HyperCourseware the hypermedia database is used to provide the same sort of natural links between objects as one would expect in the educational materials themselves. For example, the syllabus is a natural navigational mechanism to jump to lectures, readings, and assignments; the classroll is a natural navigational jump to information about students and grades; and the grade list is a natural navigational jump to exams and assignments. Each of these are syntactic navigational links in support of education and are characterized by the thin links in Figure 5.1.

HyperCourseware was initially written to support these activities in an experimental electronic classroom at the University of Maryland, the AT&T Teaching Theater. This classroom is a fully functional electronic classroom as described in Chapter 4. It was built with a workstation for the instructor and 20 workstations for the students. All of the computers were connected to a local area network and to a classroom server and in turn to the campus network. At present, HyperCourseware runs in two Teaching Theaters at the University of Maryland in the Windows(TM) environment; it can be accessed across the campus network in computer labs; and it runs on a small experimental network of Macintosh(TM) computers.

HyperCourseware was written as a system of interlocking stacks and files that serves as an electronic infrastructure for classroom learning by implementing the basic tools and course materials in the form of card based stacks. Stacks are interlocking in two ways. First, they are linked among themselves so that one can navigate from from module to another. Second, they are linked across workspaces to exchange information. They read and write to the storage spaces disccussed in Chapter 4 and shown in Table 4.2 The current implementation of HyperCourseware is written in ObjectPlus(TM) and runs in either the Macintosh(TM) or Windows environment(TM).

The remainder of this chapter will present the the top level structure of HyperCourseware and several of its interconnecting modules. The next section of the book will go into greater detail about how HyperCourseware is used to support teaching and learning objectives and will present a number of additional modules used to present lecture material and group activities in the switched-on classroom. The final section of this chapter will discuss the issue of navigation through HyperCourseware by individuals and by the class as a group.

6.2 HyperCourseware: Home Screen

HyperCourseware begins with a "Home" screen that provides access to a set of modules that represent objects and metaphors of education. When students sign onto a workstation running HyperCourseware in the switched-on classroom or at a remote site, the system records their attendance and then presents a "Home" screen as shown in Figure 6.1. The home screen displays relevant course information and daily announcements. A field at the top of the screen is used to show the name of the course, the name of the instructor, and any other title information. If the student clicks on this title, a screen is shown that gives the course description, requirements and other detailed information input for the course. The name of the workstation being used is displayed in the middle of the Home Screen. Finally, the name of the student or pair of students at this workstation is displayed. Buttons are available to allow the students to change their "screen names" and to add a partner or change the name of a partner. At the bottom of the Home Screen is a field that acts as an electronic bulletin board. The instructor can type information into this field which is then displayed on the student's Home Screens. It can be used for general announcements for the class. Since it is shown on the Home Screen, it will be seen a number of times and hopefully attended to by the students.

Figure 6.1 The home screen for HyperCourseware which acts as a navigational hub to access the various modules for materials, interaction, and products.

In addition, the home screen acts as a navigational hub to the principle materials and tools used in HyperCourseware. The icons shown around the perimeter of the Home Screen provide these links. Following the schematic shown in Figure 5.1, the icons on the left side of the screen provide access to course materials and the icons on the right provide access to course products. The icons at the bottom access general classroom tools used for group organization, discussion, and file exchange. Although this arrangement has some semantic content from the educator's perspective, in practice it provides primarily a syntactic link to the objects for the students.

Course Materials. The course materials consist of all of the written materials, collected notes, and plans that exist at the beginning of a course. The instructor typically ties these materials together using a syllabus as a plan for the course, a set of lectures, a set of readings, and a set of assignments. In addition, information about the students enrolled in the class constitutes an important input to the course.

The Syllabus Icon opens up an electronic representation of the course outline (see Figure 6.2 later in this chapter). The syllabus lists the dates, lecture topics, readings, and assignments. The syllabus acts as a navigational tool. If the instructor clicks on the date, the lesson plan for that day is shown. If the student clicks on the date, the scheduler is opened to that day (see schedule icon below). A click on the lecture topic jumps to the lecture notes for the day, a click on the reading shows details about reading for that day, and a click on the assignment shows any homework or project that has been assigned. Navigation from the syllabus promotes the idea of the class organized around daily topics and adds semantic content to the navigational links.

The Lecture Icon opens directly to the lecture scheduled for that day. Lectures begin with an overview or index of the topics to be covered in the lecture (see Figure 6.3 below). The instructor and students can flip sequentially through the presentation graphics using the arrow buttons on the navigational ribbon at the top of the screen or directly to a graphic by clicking on its title. A lecture graphic is shown in Figure 6.4 below. Since the presentation graphics are authored in stackware, they can incorporate any level of interactivity, animation, or linking to other systems. These possibilities will be discussed in detail in Chapter 7. It should be noted that in terms of Figure 5.1, this is the point at which HyperCourseware drops into the educational content of the nodes (Cells C and D) and/or the educational value of the paths (Cells B and D).

The Readings Icon goes to a list of reading assignments for the course. The reading list includes dates by which the material should be read (see Figure 6.5 below). If the student clicks on the title of the reading, an overview is displayed with comments or instructions input by the instructor (see Figure 6.6 below). If the student clicks on the date of the assignment, the scheduler is opened so the student can plan when to read the assignment. In either case a link can be created by the instructor to jump to the reading itself if it is available on-line.

The Assignments Icon works the same way as the readings icon. However, instead of being linked to a reading, it is linked to a description of the project to be completed and to a project workspace in which the student can complete the project itself (see Figures 6.7 and 6.8 below).

The Class roll Icon provides access for both the instructor and the students to the list of students enrolled in the class. Clicking on the name of a student opens up a screen showing the picture of the student as well as a short biographical sketch published by the student (see Figures 6.9 and 6.10). The class roll module can also be used by the instructor to input and access grades.

Finally, the Directions Icon serves as an on-line help system. For the student it opens a window that gives directions for how to use the current screen. For the instructor is gives directions on how to generate the courseware.

Course Products. The icons on the right side of the home screen represent in some sense the material products of the course. These hypermedia databases are generated by the individual students and the class as the result of their work.

The Schedule Icon opens a record of the student's plan for accessing materials and the actual record of access and completion of assignments. The schedule lists the readings, assignments, and other activities planned by the student. By clicking on items in the schedule, the student can jump to that object. In essence, the schedule is the hypermedia database organized from the perspective of the student's need. At another level, the schedule is like a "to do" list but allows direct access to the things that need to be done. This module will be discussed in greater detail in Chapter 9.

The Notes Icon provides access to the individual and group notes taken by the students. In general, notes are associated with the lecture presentation screens, but they can also be general notes associated with a topic or a date. The notes module will be discussed in Chapters 7 and 8.

The Exams Icon provides access to a module that controls authoring, taking, and grading of exams. For future exams the date is listed with any pointers from the instructor on what and how to study. Exams scheduled for the current day and time are initiated from the exams icon. The instructor uses the exams icon to access and grade completed student exams. Objective tests can be self-scoring and essay exams can be graded and annotated by the instructor. Students can use the exams icon to access their exams after they have been graded to see what they got right or wrong. The exams module will be discussed in Chapter 10.

The Projects Icon opens up a workspace in which students complete and submit projects. The projects may be simple written assignments, collaborative assignments, and even hypermedia databases created by the students. This module will be discussed is Chapter 8.

Finally the Grades Icon provides access to the grade module. For students, the grades icon allows them to view their own grades and the grade distributions for the class. For the instructor, it provides access to enter, view, average, and hand out grades. Recording keeping and grades will be discussed in Chapter 10.

Course Tools. The icons at the bottom of the home screen provide access to a variety of tools that promote interaction and collaboration in the classroom. While the course materials and products icons instantiate familiar objects of education in electronic form, the course tools enhance the communication channels through knowing who is in the classroom, being able to send messages, participating in on-line discussions, and submitting feedback and questions.

The Seating Icon provides a class seating chart so that both the instructor and the students can see who is in the class and where they are sitting (see Figures 6.11 and 6.12 below). The instructor can add students in the room who are not signed on and can record the attendance. The students see the chart from their perspective with their own workstation highlighted.

The Messages Icon opens up an in-class message system for the instructor to send messages to all or some of the students and for the students to send a message to the instructor. Students can also send messages to other students. This feature will be discussed in Chapter 8.

The Discussion Icon opens up a set of tools that can be used for class discussion. The instructor submits a topic for discussion that appears in the top field. The students may respond as many times as they wish. The running set of comments by the class appears for all to see. Other tools have been generated that are more specialized for the type of interaction planned. These are also discussed in Chapter 8.

The Feedback Icon provides a tool for the students to provide feedback to the instructor about the course at any time. Feedback can be anonymous or students can choose to identify themselves. The feedback icon can also be used to ask questions for additional clarification. This module will be discussed in Chapters 7 and 12.

The Exchange Icon provides a tools for swapping files among the students. The instructor sets the swapping rule (e.g., random pairwise, shift, one to many, many to one) and initiates the exchange. When the students click on the exchange icon they either access the files to be or that have been exchanged. This tool can be used for collaborative writing, critiquing one another's work, or for team projects. Again this tool will be discussed in Chapter 8.

The World Icon provides access to applications and databases that are outside of the HyperCourseware environment (e.g., access to word processors, spreadsheet programs, or other hypermedia systems). These applications are set up individually for each course as needed. A popular application is a browser for the World Wide Web which will be discussed in Chapter 15.

Finally, the Quit Icon logs the student out of HyperCourseware. This function records that time that the student or pair of students logged out and clears up various files in the system.

Syllabus, Readings, and Assignments

When we begin to plan a course as instructors, we start with various course material and objectives. We may start from a standard textbook in an introductory course, or a set of readings in a seminar, or a set of experiments and exercises in a laboratory course. We assemble all of this in a syllabus or course outline. The syllabus generally lists the dates of the classes, the topics, exam dates, readings, and sometimes assignments. The syllabus is the central organizer for a course and as such is a conceptual hub from which one jumps to each topic or activity. In the hardcopy world the syllabus is typed up and handed out to the students on the first day of class along with perhaps a description of the course, various requirements, and other information.

The switched-on syllabus has a number of advantages. Since it is in electronic form is can be copied an updated from year to year or semester to semester with only a change in the dates and adjustments to update materials and incorporate feedback from each time that the course is taught. Second, it can be updated and distributed to students throughout the semester. When changes in dates have to be made, the exam is postponed, or an extra class period is devoted to an interesting topic, the syllabus is automatically disseminated to all of the students. Changes can be made by the instructor at any time, even during the class period when they are discussed with the students.

The syllabus is a central feature of HyperCourseware. Figure 6.2 shows a syllabus used in HyperCourseware. When the instructor builds the course, the dates are copied into the list on the left, the topics are typed or copied into the next field to correspond to the dates, and the readings and assignments are entered into the next two fields. Most universities and colleges, have a prescribed list of times and dates for class meetings, taking into consideration holidays, and final examination dates. When these are published in electronic form they can be automatically imported into the date field. The instructor has privileges to write and alter the syllabus. The fields of the syllabus are normally locked and used as buttons. The instructor can unlock them by clicking on the closed padlock and relock them by clicking on the open padlock shown only on the instructor's screen.

Figure 6.2 The syllabus screen allowing students to jump to the lecture notes, the reading, or the assignment for each date listed.

In HyperCourseware the syllabus can be used used to jump to lecture materials, readings, and assignments. Generally at the beginning of a course, the class will start from the syllabus to see the context of the topic in relation to others in the course. From there, the class jumps to the lecture notes for the day. Lecture notes start with an index of the presentation. Figure 6.3 shows an index for a lecture on memory in a cognitive psychology class. The instructor and students can either click on a presentation screen to go directly to it or click on the right arrow at the top of the screen to go to the first screen. Figure 6.4 shows a typical graphic that was used in this lecture. At the end of the session, the instructor may return to the syllabus to assign the readings or assignments for the next class. Out of class, students may access the syllabus to plan their preparation for the next class.

Figure 6.3 The index of screens for a particular lecture allowing students to either page through the presentation or jump to any one screen (see Figure 6.4).

Figure 6.4 A typical lecture screen.

Exams can also be listed in the syllabus. By clicking on the name of the exam, the exam can be opened and started. Since exams are special materials they will be discussed in Chapter 10.

Most courses include a list of reading assignments to be completed by set dates. HyperCourseware uses the reading list in a similar way to the syllabus. Figure 6.5 shows the list of readings. On the left is a short abbreviation for the reading assignment that was listed on the syllabus, the next field lists the reading, and the final field gives the date by which it should be read. A click on the reading goes to a screen showing a full reference for the reading, a description of the reading, and/or notes input by the instructor on what the reading is about or just what should be read (see Figure 6.6). Finally, a click on the reading can go to the reading itself if it is in electronic form. More and more readings are becoming available in electronic form so they can be directly linked to HyperCourseware. As noted previously, a click on the reading on the syllabus, also goes to the description of the reading.

Figure 6.5 The index of readings allowing students to jump to each reading or synopsis of a reading (Figure 6.6).

Figure 6.6 A screen in the Reading Module showing the reference for the reading and a synopsis of the reading presented by one of the students.

Finally, assignments are also listed in HyperCourseware. Figure 6.7 shows a typical listing of the assignments and due dates. By clicking on the assignment, HyperCourseware goes to a detailed description of the assignment previously entered by the instructor. If the assignment is a short paper or some form of written text, it can be entered directly into a workspace provided on the card as shown in Figure 6.8. Since the assignment is electronic in form, the student can easily edit it and can even import or copy previously written text into the workspace. The workspace for each assignment is stored in the Student Space. When the student completes and submits the assignment, it is copied to the Handin Space. The instructor then has access to the file for grading and record keeping.

Figure 6.7 An assignment listed in the Assignments Module.

Figure 6.8 The workspace on the assignment screen that allows the student to enter the assignment.

Finally, the fact that the syllabus, reading list, and assignments are switched on means that they can be constantly generated, updated, and corrected; they are constantly available to the students in their current form; and they can be used as navigational tools to get to class materials.

Class Roll and Seating Chart

A second organizing factor in classroom education is the class roll. At the beginning of each semester we are given the list of students enrolled in our class. Assignments, grades, and communication in the classroom is keyed to this list of students. In the hardcopy classroom it has been the status quo for the instructor to hold the list of students and not distribute it to the class as a whole. This tradition has limited interaction among the students to merely knowing the people sitting in one's immediate vicinity or knowing the individuals who are outspoken in the class. Beyond what is said in classroom discussion, students generally learn very little about the classmates with whom they meet several times a week , struggle with course material together, and endure the instructor and one another during the course of a semester.

The switched-on classroom opens out new possibilities and new channels for interaction and communication among the students. Once the class roll is imported in HyperCourseware from the list published by the registrar's office, it can be distributed to the students as shown in Figure 6.9. In many classes it is useful in addition to allow the students to write and publish short biographical sketches of themselves and even to add digitized pictures, as shown in Figure 6.10. Furthermore, the instructor is encouraged to publish a biographical sketch as well. Such a system allows both the instructor and the students to get to know one another and to add to the richness of the interactions in the class. The class roll is available both in class for quick reference and out of class for leisure exploration. Students get to know one another both by sight and interests.

The class roll is built first by importing the names of the students registered in the class. HyperCourseware generates a set of cards, one for each student and one for the instructor. When a student clicks on his or her name, their card opens up. They can type and edit the biographical sketch and then click the "Publish" button shown only on their card. The information is later disseminated after it has been screened by the instructor. During this screening process, the instructor has the ability to edit the information and even ask the student to file in more details. When a student clicks on another student's name, the system opens that student's card but all of the fields are locked and no "Publish" button is shown. Black and white pictures are currently copied to each student's card and color pictures are linked by calling an external program that displays color pictures.

Figure 6.9 The class roster listed in the Class Roll Module that allows access to each of the student screens (see Figure 6.10).

Figure 6.10 A student screen shown in the Class Roll Module.

In addition to the class roll, we sometimes organize the class by a seating chart when students have assigned seats. In most college classes this is not the case even though students genrerally of their own nature tend to sit in the same places. In traditional classrooms it would too time consuming to make up a new seating chart each day. In the switched-on classroom, however, it can be automatically generated when the students log onto the system.

Figure 6.11 shows the instructor's view of the seating chart generated in HyperCourseware as students log into the AT&T Teaching Theater. A different seating chart must be customized for each electronic classroom depending on the number and arrangement of workstations in the room. The seating chart shows the first letter of each of the names of the workstations. In the AT&T Teaching Theater the names are of famous composers. Two fields are shown at each workstation since the room accommodates up to two students per workstation. The names are left and right justified to indicate their positions at the workstation. If only one student is at the workstation, the name is centered. Although the names are automatically entered into the seating chart, the instructor has the ability to change or add names of students who might not be properly signed on. The instructor's seating chart provides functions to record the attendance, display the seat chart for the class, and print the chart.

If the seating chart is distributed to the students, they see if from their perspective as shown in Figure 6.12. When they view it, their own workstation and name(s) are highlighted.

Figure 6.11 The class seating chart as seen by the instructor.

Figure 6.12 The class seating chart as seen by the students.

The seating chart is used not only to display the day-to-day location of students in the classroom but is also a means of accessing information about the students. On both the instructor's and student's screen, one can click on a student's name and go to the student's card in the class roll and read the biographical sketch. From the instructor's screen, there is a choice of viewing a number things about the student. For example the instructor can view a question or comment that the student has entered, the current grades of that student, or the current screen being viewed by that student. Thus, the class seating chart is can be used to access information about the students organized by their positions in the classroom.

Navigation in HyperCourseware

At the top level, navigation in HyperCourseware is based on the major landmarks of classroom instruction: the syllabus, lecture notes, etc. While the home screen acts as a navigational hub, it is generally not efficient to return to it unless totally changing one's activity. Additional syntactic navigation is provided through the navigational ribbon at the top of most screens or preplanned by the instructor in the lecture module. The navigational ribbon varies somewhat from module to module; however, in general it contains the buttons shown at the top of an assignment screen (see Figure 6.5). From left to right these include: (a) a left arrow to move backward through the sequential screens in a stack; (b) a return to the index of the module shown as a stack of cards; (c) a pointing finger to jump to an instructor designated location, generally the current screen being viewed by the instructor; (d) an icon to jump to the syllabus; (e) an icon to jump to the Home Screen; and (f) a right arrow to move the next card in the stack.

An important thing to keep in mind with hypermedia in the classroom is that both the instructor and the students are separately and independently navigating the database. This means that everyone can be looking at different information at the same time. While independent exploration is useful at times, in classroom instruction one often needs to coordinate the group's interaction with the hypermedia database. The next two sections discuss some of the options and issues surrounding group navigation.

Coordinating Group Navigation: Active/Passive Mode. Navigation in HyperCourseware can span the range from an individual activity to a total group activity. At the individual level each student has the freedom to access any module, to move through the contents of that module, to run simulations and computations, to take notes and gather materials, and to return to the Home Screen. At the other extreme, in a lecture setting the instructor may take the lead and purposefully guide the navigation through the materials with the students following in lockstep.

In the AT&T Teaching Theater one way of leading the class through the materials is simply to transmit the instructor's screen to all of the student monitors using hardware switching to the students monitors. When this is done, the students sit as passive recipients of the material in a traditional lecture format with their workstations operating as slave displays. While this may be effective is some situations, it does not make use of the interactive facilities of the electronic classroom to engage the students in the material.

HyperCourseware, on the other hand, takes advantage of the interactivity of the student's workstations connected to a local area network and a file server. The students can independently navigate through the material as they follow along during a lecture. At the lowest level, the students are merely page turning to keep in step with the instructor. While this adds a slight cognitive burden on the students, it does two things. First, it helps to maintain each student's attention by requiring a response to keep up. Second, and more important, it allows for local navigation by the students. While the instructor sets the general area of discussion, individual students may engage local exploration. They may linger on a screen, page back to check on a previous point, or page forward to see what is coming. This aspect of group navigation is similar to leading a tour group through a museum. The tour leader brings a group into a room, gives an overview, points out a few important artifacts, and then allows the members to engage in local exploration of other artifacts in the room. When it is time to move on, the leader must gracefully usher the group to the next room.

Invariably this added freedom also allows students to get lost by lingering too far behind or straying too far away from the instructor's location. To avoid the raised hand, ready to ask, "How do I get to where you are?" the pointing finger tool is provided in the navigational ribbon to jump the student's screen to the same screen being viewed by the instructor.

Several limits to local navigation may also be required. In some lectures, the instructor may not want the students to browse ahead. Viewing advanced material may lead to a misunderstanding unless it is properly introduced by the instructor or provoke a student to ask a question prematurely. Or the instructor may wish to evoke a group response that would be mitigated by students prematurely accessing the punch line. HyperCourseware allows the instructor to set parameters that limit the student's exploration when required.

Moreover, at some points the instructor may want to force all of the student screens to the same designated point. Synchronization may be needed to focus everyone's attention to the same point for group discussion or when groupware screens require simultaneous input by all of the members of the class. Each of these situations involve coordinating the student's navigation to the instructor's location for lecture presentations or guided group interactions.

Coordinating Mutual Navigation: Flying in Formation. Navigation involves not only one's own movements through space, but also the movements of others in that space and their relative location to one's own. When students are working on collaborative projects or actively contributing to the course of the group interaction, navigation will need to include knowing not only one's own location but also the location of others. Mutual navigation requires communication of location. In HyperCourseware the current location as well as path history is stored for each student and for the instructor. This means that the instructor can know the location of all of the students, how many are viewing the same screen, how many are one or two screens behind, and how many are lost. Furthermore, if a student asks a question about a screen that he or she is viewing, the instructor and the rest of the class can momentarily jump to that screen.

Mutual navigation also means that students can collaborate in a number of interesting ways. Paths through the course materials can be stored and shared with others (e.g., highlights of what will be covered on the final); students can form groups and explore the hypermedia database together (e.g., a study group), or they can divide up areas of the materials for exploration and when someone finds something of group interest, all of the members of the group can jump to that location. HyperCourseware is beginning to take advantage of mutual navigation and to develop tools to facilitate the coordination of navigation using spatial metaphors in the classroom.


The swithced on classroom requires an easy and practical means of accessing course materials and tools. In this chapter the basic organization and navigational methods used in HyperCourseware were presented. The Home Screen is the basic navigational hub to all materials and tools. In addition, a navigational ribbon is provided to move within and between modules. Finally, some modules such as the syllabus, the class roll, and the seating chart provide links to other information as needed by the instructor or the students.

The switched-on classroom requires not only individual navigation through the hypermedia course materials, it also requires coordination of group navigation. HyperCourseware accomplishes this by recording and passing navigational information between the instructor and the students. Thus, the students find out where the instructor is and jump to that screen; and the instructor can find out were the students are and use this information as feedback.

Now that we have dealt with the design of the switched-on classroom, issues about the rehosting of educational materials and processes in the electronic environment, and the overall structure of HyperCourseware in his section, we can turn to how these tools are integrated to meet educational and learning objectives in the next section.

Exercises and Projects

1. If you have access to HyperCourseware, explore as many paths from the Home Screen as possible. In particular, start from the Syllabus Icon, the Readings Icon, and the Assignments Icon. Use the indexes to go to specific information. Use the navigational ribbon to jump to back to the indexes, the Home Screen, and the syllabus.

2. Draw a network of nodes and arcs to represent the hypermedia links in HyperCourseware. Each "card" or screen should be represented as a node. Remember that the Home Screen is the navigational hub and that indexes used in the syllabus and other modules point to a number card. Don't forget to include the navigational ribbon as a source of links.

3. Write a 50 to 75 word autobiographical sketch that you would like to publish in the Class Roll Module of HyperCourseware.

Suggested Readings

Norman, K. L. (1994). HyperCourseware for interactive instruction in the electronic classroom. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments & Computers, 26, 255-259.

Norman, K. L. (1994). Navigating the educational space with HyperCourseware. Hypermedia., 6, 35-60.

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