The Hypertext Habit

Wednesday, February 15th, 2006

In a few Years Sixnut will be pretty heavy into software that tracks and maintains custom general education, course, and program outcomes (i.e., what people can actually do after completing a course of study, like “build a house”). We’re going to be hearing a lot of about outcomes assessment at a national scale in the news with the feds now turning to the charms of national tests. At Sixnut, we’re not thinking about this (well, I’m not at least, I shouldn’t speak for everyone), we’re thinking about hypertext and the need to connect one thing with other things.

eLumen is essentially a metonymic system that depends on physical connections between digital ideas. The genuine link is a relation or association between the data, say a course that links to a specific outcome or skill concept or grouping of learning issues. Understanding the physical relations isn’t all that easy. A nice hypertext habit is good for this, thinking not in terms of a linear sequence, but in terms of the spatial qualities of ideas, data, images, whatever. Moreover, eLumen allows for the visualization of connections across disciplines in such a way that faculty who want their students to demonstrate learning in writing can provide their students institutional credibility in this regard.


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