Hypermedia and discovery based learning: What value?

  • Gabriel Jacobs University of Wales Swansea


In 1992, I published a paper entitled 'Hypermedia and discovery based learning: A historical perspective'. It traced the swings in the history of educational thinking between, on the one hand, support for conventional curriculum based learning and, on the other, the non-linear approach expressed by many educational commentators over the centuries. As I saw things, hyperlink technology would finally allow learning truly to mesh with the free association characteristics of the human mind. Once the technology had matured, it would be a teaching resource that would transform passive learners into active thinkers. Thirteen years on, I take a critical look at those optimistic conclusions. Are students better equipped to learn than previously? Are they able to think reflectively to a greater degree than their counterparts of a decade or two ago? This present paper addresses such questions, the result being that the guarded optimism of 1992 has turned to a deep pessimism.



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Author Biography

Gabriel Jacobs, University of Wales Swansea
School of Business and Economics, University of Wales Swansea