This presentation begins by looking at some of the myths about the benefits of hypertext teaching tools. Sweeping claims about the "natural" affinity of the mind with hypertexts deserve careful scrutiny. In our study of Reading Experience Surveys of students who have used the Women of the Romantic Period Hypertext (WORP), we were unable to make sweeping claims about the benefits of hypertext course materials. However, we were able to interpret smaller trends, such as the efficacy of using frame-based footnote mechanisms in hypertexts developed for the World Wide Web. Iíll also compare the WORP project with similar literary hypertexts like those created with the Intermedia authoring environment in order to situate the WORP project within theoretical discussions of hypertext and talk about the drawbacks and benefits of distributed hypertext systems. Finally, Iíll perform a close reading ofsthe WORP project as a way of discussing reader response literary theorists such as Wolfgang Iser, Stanley Fish, and Louise Rosenblatt. Iíll discuss ways that discussion forums developed with the help of Unix-based CGI scripts have enabled WORP to instantiate interactions between readers and texts and within communities of readers.

Presenter: Daniel Anderson


Target Audience: Intermediate

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