Web 2.0 as an Enabler of Developing Open Content Online Hypertextbooks

T.A. Yang, V.S. Jadhav, D. Chipade, and B. Sun (USA)


Open Hypertextbooks, Web 2.0, Collaborative Authoring


A Hypertextbook is an online version of the traditional textbooks. Different from a hardcopy textbook or an e book, a Hypertextbook in a way is similar to a Web-based system, which provides attractive features such as dynamic interactions, multimedia presentations, animations of important concepts and procedures, and pervasive availability wherever Internet is accessible. Hypertextbooks may be adopted in traditional classroom teaching, but distance education and Web-based education in particular can greatly benefit from the dynamic and user friendly features provided by Hypertextbooks. In this paper, we report our experience of developing Open Hypertextbooks, which combine the merits of Hypertextbooks and features provided by Web 2.0 technology, especially the collaborative authoring process and the collective intelligence resulting from that process. The result is an open content online textbook with not only rich features typically available in a conventional textbook but also flexibility allowing user contribution by adding and/or changing the content of the book. In addition to presenting our design of an Open Hypertextbook that we developed for the subject Wireless Sensor Networks, in this paper we also survey related work and examine issues that one may encounter when developing a good quality Open Hypertextbook.

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