National Research Council of Italy (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN23 Proceedings
Publication year: 2023
Pages: 7182-7190
ISBN: 978-84-09-52151-7
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2023.1883
Conference name: 15th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2023
Location: Palma, Spain
The history of hypertext (HT) in education dates back to the 1960s, when researchers began exploring the potential of hypertext for facilitating learning. One of the earliest examples of hypertext in education was Ted Nelson's 1965 essay "A File Structure for the Complex, the Changing, and the Indeterminate." [1]. He proposed a system called "hypertext" that would allow users to navigate between related documents and ideas by clicking on hyperlinks. This concept laid the foundation for the development of hypertext systems such as Apple's HyperCard in the 1980s, which were widely used in education.

In the 1990s, the World Wide Web popularized HT as a means of accessing and sharing information on a global scale. This development led to the creation of educational HT, which could be accessed by students and teachers around the world. HT offered a dynamic and interactive way of learning, allowing students to explore topics in a non-linear manner and engage with multimedia content.

Research has shown that HT can enhance learning outcomes by promoting active engagement and self-directed learning. For example, a study by Kim and Bonk [2] found that hypertexts increased students' motivation and engagement in online learning environments. Another study by Chen and Liang [3] found that HT improved students' comprehension and retention of information compared to traditional textbooks.

Despite the benefits of HT, there are also challenges associated with its use in education. For example, HT can be overwhelming and confusing for some learners, particularly those who are unfamiliar with the technology. Additionally, the vast amount of information available through HT can make it difficult for learners to discern which information is relevant and accurate.

The history of HT in education spans several decades and has been marked by the development of new technologies and research on its effectiveness as a learning tool. While HT have the potential to enhance learning outcomes, it is important for educators to carefully design and implement hypertext-based materials to ensure they are effective for all learners.

At our institute, we have carried out numerous projects relating to the introduction of HT into schools since the 1980s, both through training courses for teachers, and by working directly with students. About 40 years have passed since the first projects, and despite the tremendous technological evolution we have witnessed, HT maintains a predominant role in the application of educational technologies. In this article we present how HT in schools have been reinterpreted in all these years, in the light of technological developments, the acquisition of methodological skills and technical skills by teachers who have in the meantime been renewed, and the changes of the students themselves, where it is it is undeniable that the generation of students who first used and developed HT in the classroom had totally different characteristics from the students of our days.

[1] Nelson, T. H. (1965, August). Complex information processing: a file structure for the complex, the changing and the indeterminate. In Proceedings of the 1965 20th national conference
[2] Chen, C. H., & Liang, T. H. (2009). The effects of hypermedia annotations on the recall and comprehension of text. Computers & Education, 52(3)
[3] Kim, K. J., & Bonk, C. J. (2002). Cross-cultural comparisons of online collaboration. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 8(1)
Hypertext, creativity, educational technologies, teacher training.