MetaLinks is both a computer program and a design framework for electronic text books. That is, it is a new way to conceptualize books and a set of tools that make it easy to produce and maintain innovative interactive texts in a cost effective way. The software includes both authoring and reading modes and hyperbooks authored with MetaLinks can be read on an internet browser. It supports both focussed and exploratory learning in richly interconnected material.
MetaLinks hyperbooks are adaptive interactive hypermedia texts. The software accesses a database to create each hyperbook page when the reader navigates to it. Users/readers log in and the system keeps a record of their activities as they use the book, which uses this information to customize each page to the needs of the reader and situation. The innovations and advantages of MetaLinks fall into these categories, each of which is described below: supporting active reading, multi-level books, multi-theme books, deep content representation , avoiding hypermedia side effects, evolving content, and student modeling. MetaLinks achieves these benefits through a number of novel features, including "horizontal flow", "custom depth control," "narrative smoothing," "thematic links," and "schema support," described elsewhere. The software was developed to incorporate research findings from cognitive science, educational theories, and learning theories into a framework for digital texts.
|To view a page image from a MetaLinks electronic textbook, click on the image to the right:|