ICT IN LANGUAGE LEARNING
HYPERTEXT SYSTEM: OVERVIEW
Ratna Monika Sari
POST GRADUATED SCHOOL
DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH LANGUANGE EDUCATION
UNIVERSITY OF MUHAMMADIYAH PROF DR HAMKA
Hypertext System: Overview
Concept of Hypertext
The concept of hypertext is firstly introduced and developed by Vannenar Bush (1945). Furthermore, the development of hypertext to become hypermedia cannot be separated from the discovery made by the other main pioneers (Ted Nelson, and Anzel, et.al). Their findings explained briefly below.
Concept of hypertext was described by Bush as a system; it was called “MEMEX” (Memory Extender). In his article “As We may Think”, as “a sort of mechanized private file and library” and as “a device in which an individual stores his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility”. Memex was created by Bush based on microfilm and eye-
tracking technology to enable users to follow cross-reference with ease.
The memex is a device in which an individual compresses
and stores all of their books, records, and communications which is then mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. A document can be given a simple numerical code that allows the user to access it after dialing the number combination. The memex has influenced the development of subsequential hypertext and intellect augmenting computer systems. A memex consists of a desk, where on top are slanting translucent screens on which material can be projected for convenient reading. Within the desk were mechanisms that stored information through microphotography. On the top of the memex is a transparent platen. It is almost similar with the personal computer that we have nowadays.
Ted Nelson (1976)
Nelson (1976), one of the pioneers of the hypertext, was the first person who coined the term “hypertext”. Based on Bush’s idea of memex, he developed “XANADU”. Xanadu was designed based on combination of back end and local databases, which enables fast response for most hypertext access.
Anzel, et.al (1992)
Based on the concept hypertext system, Anzel, et.al, state that “the recent interest in hypertext concepts in computer science can be explained by the fact that we can now support
non-linearity with computers, thus making it much easier and faster for a reader to follow up cross references. Modern computers, furthermore, allow us to expand the notion of the text to include not only texts and pictures as in printed texts, but also sound, music, animation and video in a single hypertext system.”
What is Hypertext?
Hypertext means non-sequential information. From the windows displayed on the screen, users can open document 4 directly instead of opening document 1 first, followed by document 2 and 3 sequentially. Suppose a user can’t find information he requires in document 4 , and he wants to open document 2, he may access document 2 directly. This is because there is a link between the system on the screen and document 4, and another link with connects document 4 and 2.
Hypertext and Hypermedia
• Hypertext, implies that the system is solely related to plain text. As recent developments have found there is possibility of connecting hypertext with other media, such as graphics, animation or sound, the term “hypermedia” , then, sometimes used to highlight the multimedia aspects in the system.
• As a matter of fact, hypermedia is similar to hypertext. The only distinction is that instead of linking just text, users can link to the other media, such as graphics, video, spreadsheet, animation as well as sound.
• In short, users of hypermedia systems can link together information of any media type provided by current technology (Smith, 1988).
Advantages of Hypertext
The advantage of hypertext can be summarized as follows:
• ease of tracing references
• ease of creating new references
• information structuring
• global views
• customized documents
• modularity of information
• consistency of information
• task stacking
Problems with Hypertext
One of the major problems encountered when working with hypertext system getting lost or disorientation. Conklin (1987: 38) stated that the disorientation problem is accounted for the hypertext which offers more freedom that enables users to move and hence a greater potential for the users to become lost or disoriented. Along with this, Smith (1988:39) stated that:
In other word, the system need to answer the question “Where am I?”. “What information is available?” and “How can I get to it?”. The process of following links can be disorienting, …..
Some of hypertext applications are listed below:
Product catalogues and advertisements
Organizational charts and policy manuals
Annual reports and orientation guides
Resumes/CVs and biographies
Treaties, contracts, and wills
Newsletters and new magazines
Software documentation and code
Application of Hypertext in Education
The application of hypertext in education is commonly known as Computer Assisted Learning (CAL), is due to its interactive capability and flexibility. Interactive capability means to the computer ability to interact with students. On the other hand, flexibility means the students allowed to browse through a large set of information available in the document, and to see it non-sequentially.
Hypertext in Language Learning
Hypertext system can be implemented in learning of all language skills – listening, speaking, reading, and writing – and also language aspects (components), such as vocabulary or grammar. However, the application of hypertext in learning grammar shows the best and most successful result.
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