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3 Learning Systems, Museum Exhibits, and Interactive Kiosks

Hypertext paradigm is highly suitable for learning systems in order to encourage learning by exploration. Epics and classics can also be represented in hypertext form. The Shakespeare Project was started in order to exploit multimedia and hypertext technology providing educators a radically new way to teach not only Shakespeare and theater, but also disciplines such as psychology, sociology, and communications which depend on the observation of complex, visually dense, and hard-to-record events [Friedlander, 1988].

Various applications in the Intermedia environment have together been used to create educational material for courses in English and Cell Biology [Yankelovich et al., 1988]. These interactive courses also encouraged students to submit term papers using hypermedia tools by referring to each others’ papers. These experiments illustrated some interesting aspects of group dynamics involved in a collaborative class environment.

Museum goers gather information by exploration and hypertext systems can be used to describe the various exhibits. Hypertext-based museum information systems can provide visitors with a greater degree of involvement [Shneiderman & Kearsley, 1989]. The HyperTies system has been used at several museums, including the Smithsonian Institution, to describe museum exhibits on the Holocaust and “King Herod’s Dream”. Interactive kiosks can be used as tourist guides since tourists would like to read only parts of the information available about a city or country. Glasgow Online is another popular hypertext tourist guide that provides a subject-oriented overview such as city profile, accommodation, maps, places of interest, shopping centers etc. Selecting one of these topics will take the user through a trail of items related to the topic. The tourist can be looking at the city profile and be interested in a hotel in a certain price range. He or she can then search for accommodation fitting the requirement which would yield a list of hotels. The hotel of interest can then be located in a map of the region.