Hypertext for Students

Students are used to working hypertextually in print but not electronically... it's there, but non-digital and not as a product, usually just as notes.

We need a hypertext writing skills course.... it's too steep a learning curve to be deposited on top of many curricula. "Kolb did it, and no one returned" (I'm not sure what that meant, three years later.) Furthermore, if students have only one product or project on which to learn hypertext authoring, they will lose the skills (Anne).

When and how is a hypertext more than a scrapbook... when and how does it become more than a collection of nodes? Perhaps when you don't just make an association with a link, but talk about the association. When considering the text as a whole, perception privileges nodes over links, lexia over the text "between" them. How do you teach that difference?

Perhaps the distinction is in some critical level of distribution, publication, or scale... will anyone see it? is the question. Well, not everyone must, but everyone can. You must also deal with student expectation that they could (or absolutely won't) become instant celebrities through something like the Slashdot effect. You can't predict it, but it does happen. It's a small community of good hypertext writers-- odds are good that if you write someone, you'll hear from them.

How do you get noticed, then? "Ego surfing" can reveal your search penetration and how various queries reveal your site. You have to deal with the sclerotic effect of too much information, 100,000 websites for a bad query. Someone referred to the "Mozart effect".

"You will not be allowed to fail" is an approach that takes out some of the fear of the new medium.