Hypermedia-Based Education

I pioneered the use of the HyperWave (formerly Hyper-G) hypermedia system for course delivery in the department.

We are unique (as far as I know) in offering hypermedia courses primarily to our on-campus students (although distance learning is trivially possible as well).

Our approach has been fairly successful. The most important discovery we have made is that courses without any lectures have different effects than courses with even a few. When there are no lectures, students internalise the fact that they are responsible for learning, and it is not the instructor who makes it happen. This appears to account for the slightly improved learning outcomes we see in our hypermedia courses.

The important property of Hyperwave, compared to standard web-based courseware, is that it makes a learning community possible. Interaction at many levels is supported within a single system. Courses are not high-tech correspondence, with each student left to make his or her way through a slab of material. Rather, students and instructor make their way through it together; just not in the same room at (exactly) the same time.

Hyperwave course delivery is now used in many courses in the Department: 104, 340, 435, 441. We brought a test section of 101 on stream in 1999, and expect to be offering many of our first-year courses with a Hyperwave component in 2000.

Have a look at my draft papers for descriptions of precisely what we're doing. There's also a document about the ongoing work using hypermedia for teaching and learning.

Advantages of using Hyperwave instead of standard web technology., a document I prepared for several committees.

You can look at the public part of the HyperWave server here. Other web resources related to using information technology are here.