Strategies for teaching and learning with hypertext networks

Álvarez, Luis
González-Pienda, Julio A.
Núñez, José-Carlos
Roces, Cristina
González-Pumariega, Sol
González-Castro, Paloma
University of Oviedo,

The current emphasis on learning strategies has contributed to a revision of methodological processes with the ever more widespread aim of “teaching how to learn.” Many studies show that learning improves when linear text is transformed into a network. Therefore, teaching must take into account this means of processing to facilitate the transmission and learning of knowledge.

In this sense, we have taught a strategy for network teaching, “Hypertext,” to teachers of various elementary, secondary, and high schools.

The most representative elements of Hypertext are nodes and connectors. “Nodes” are points for maximum fixation that contribute to selective attention. “Connectors” are lines of activation and support of nodes that help to maintain attention.

Hypertext is especially useful for conceptual information processing, that is, for developing recognition and comprehension: recognition by identification of the key concepts in the “nodes,” and comprehension by building relationships between the selected contents.

The results obtained using this strategy are significantly different from those obtained using other methods normally employed by teachers. In the teachers’ opinion, the explanation for this is that Hypertext helps students to activate prior knowledge, manage the new information, and, therefore, it improves attention, motivation, and students’ involvement in active construction of knowledge.