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Elaborated Resources: An Instructional Design Strategy for Hypermedia



The concept of hypertext was introduced by Ted Nelson in 1965, but only recently has the widely available technology caught up with the idea. The new generation of microcomputers featuring large internal memories, graphic interfaces, and large data storage capacities have made the commercial development of hypertext/hypermedia software possible. A review of the hypermedia concept indicates that: (1) hypermedia is based upon the philosophy of easy access to large bodies of information; (2) hypermedia should be thought of as an interactive environment for the user, not just as a single application program; and (3) end users should be able to modify hypermedia systems. As an extensive and generalized informational environment, hypermedia requires a macro level instructional design to fully utilize its capabilities. While a framework must be created to guide and structure the learner's progress, the learner must be allowed to create associations and follow related pathways and ideas. The key to building a hypermedia knowledge environment is to find the optimal balance between instruction and exploration. The elaborated resources theory, which is built upon web theory, provides a promising approach to solving this problem. Based upon the linking capabilities of hypermedia, the theory is an attempt to extend computer-based instruction beyond the tutorial approach by integrating information retrieval capacities into the hypermedia environment. It facilitates the design of hypermedia environments that can serve as tutor, tool, and tutee, enhancing both instruction and learner exploration. Diagrams illustrating the elaborated resources theory are provided. (14 references) (GL)


Rezabek, R.H. & Ragan, T.J. Elaborated Resources: An Instructional Design Strategy for Hypermedia. Retrieved October 23, 2019 from .

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