In this investigation of the educational
potential of CD-ROM as a hypermedia environment for education,
technological constrains and design challenges are cited suggesting
that the success of CD-ROM as an alternative to paper-based media is
not a foregone conclusion. It is shown that advances are needed in
storage capacity, bandwidth, retrieval time, portability, and
input/ouput technology. Challenges in the design of hypertext systems
are identified, such as overcoming many inherent constraints of
electronic media, improving modes of information access, filtering
unwanted information, allowing users to act as designers, and achieving
system compability standardization. (Keywords: CD-ROM, optical storage.
As libraries swell with books and other
paper-based documents, there is a quiet revolution occurring within. In
large facilities, computer-based systems have already supplanted
microfiche and card catalogues as the vehicle for access; but now, the
penetration of technology into the culture of learning has a new tack.
Recent storage technologies such as the CD-ROM optical disc and new
modes of access such as hypertext promise also to deliver the content.
OPTICAL DISCS AND THEIR MARKETS
The optical disc delivers quantities of
information on scale tens or hundreds of times in excess of magnetic
disk technology. (In this article, the spelling "disc" is used for
optical and consumer products and "disk" is used for magnetic
products). Thanks to the consumer market, small. inexpensive,
mass-produced optical disc products (audio CDs) are now available. Of
dramatic potential is the infusion of this technology in education.
CD-ROMs have the potential to bring information--that is, facts,
resources, teaching aids, and so forth--closer to learners than ever
before. Access to oceans of information, however, can easily overwhelm
learners. Hypertext interfaces address this through personalized
browsing and connecting (linking). Information is stored, and hierarchy
not present at the physical level (as they are in the book), but added
later by designers or users. The content may go beyond and include
sound and still or motion images, perhaps from different equipment
sources. Although the term "hypermedia" is often used, the term
"hypertext" usually implies the possible use of sound and graphics, and
is preferred here. See Conklin (1987) and Nielsen (1990a, 1990b) for
reviews of hypertext systems.
The view presented in this paper is
optimistic yet pragmatic. Beating the book is a formidable challenge
and one that surely will not precede the twenty-first century.
Achieving the educational potential of CD-ROM and hypertext may be
contingent upon meeting several difficult technological and design
challenges. We shall meet these following a brief look at the role
played by the consumer and education markets.
The Consumer Market
Optical disc technology, invented by the
Dutch firm NV Philips, was demonstrated in 1972 and released as a
product in 1976. Several formats appeared initially, but only
LaserVision has survived. A 12-inch LaserVision disc can deliver 30
minutes of video at 30 frames second for a total of 54,000 frames. More
importantly, frames can be frozen and accessed at random. The first
products were feature-length movies re-released in the new format and
boasting unprecedented picture quality. Access to still images fostered
multimedia applications for education and industrial and military
Consumer response to the optical video disc
was lukewarm. The initial investment of $1,600 for the player combined
with industry bickering over a standard format left everyone with a
"wait-and-see" attitude. Laub (1986) described the events as follows:
"Many bitter battles were fought between 1972 and 1976 over the choice
of a standard optical videodisc system. Laser Vision won out by
endurance, rather than friendly agreement, leaving much discouragement
and the memory of wasted time and money in the minds of manufacturers
and users" (p. 53).
Another major factor contributing to the
limited acceptance of optical video disc technology was the birth of
magnetic Beta and VHS video tapes. The lure of recording one's own
movies proved irresistible as these writable and less expensive formats
contributed to the demise of the laser movie.
Not to be duped a second time, optical
technology re-emerged in 1983 as the compact audio disc (CD) following
collaboration by Philips and Sony. The CD was (and remains) an
unqualified success; eager consumers snapped up more than 65 million
discs during the first two years of sales. High-volume sales meant
companies could amortize initial costs. Eventually, mastering costs
dropped because more companies entered the business and equipment and
The audio CD contains more than 550 megabytes
of storage; however, this only translates into 74 minutes music.
(That's more than 100 kilobytes per second!) Indeed, consumers demanded
the best in fidelity, and this they got. With 16 bits per sample and a
44.1 kHz sampling rate, audio CD has a 96 decibel signal-to-noise
ratio, far higher than traditional phonographs or tape players. CD-ROM
is the same technology as audio CD. Only the data and file structure
Hypertext, as yet, has no penetration as a
consumer product. Apple Computer Inc's HyperCard Trademark, distributed
free with every Macintosh computer, is the most popularized hypertext
product (albeit numerous other exist; see Conklin, 1987, and Nielsen,
1990b). Although HyperCard is a design environment rather than an
application, it incorporates numerous examples of stacks, demonstrating
the potential of the medium through easy linking and browsing. Other
products have appeared that were developed using HyperCard, and these
products make use of Hypercard's simple and consistent user interface.
The Education Market
Since development costs are generally too
high for entrepreneur developers, current CD-ROM products are targeted
at a broad market only indirect links to education. School boards,
perhaps innocent beneficiaries in the end, are not the focus of
motivation (or inspiration) in the development of these products, at
least at the present time. One survey of CD-ROMs cited products for
cataloging, acquisitions, reference, indexing, business, medicine, law,
government, science, geograpy, and, finally, education (Desmarias,
1989a, 1989b). While only a few of those products surveyed are targeted
specially for the classroom, many have obvious potential as reference
sources for students (Tanner & Bane, 1989).
Developing educational products is risky
business. School boards are viewed as stoic fortresses, and when the
infusion of new technology is involved the issue is particularly
contentious. As Helsel (1989) pointed out, classroom tradition is
strong; and change only occurs when new technologies adapt to existing
methodology, rather than the reverse. Teachers feel resentment when
outsiders--bureaucrats or technocrats--tell them that something is
inevitable or better. Teachers' practice of lecturing and questioning
with the students listening, answering, and reading assigned materials
is much the same today as ever.
Furthermore, business perceives education as
a finally depressed market. Schools, like farms, always appear to be on
the brink of disaster with purse strings drawn tight by governments.
Although a potentially huge market, education is fragmented,
politically sensitive, and extremely hard to penetrate. Large
corporations, despite their outward benevolence in the form of
fellowships and equipment donations or discounts, are passive. When a
product takes off, corporations want to be perceived as prime
developer; but in terms of real investment, they remain distant and
stingy. The market is too sensitive, too volatile, and too divided.
CD-ROM penetration is already high in
libraries. Since the discs are so inexpensive to manufacture after
initial product development, they are considered the ideal distribution
medium. Sources such as Dialog Information Services (e.g., ERIC) or
Silver Platter Information Services (e.g., PSYCH LIT), offer their
subscribers quarterly updates on CD-ROM. It remains to be seen whether
the same level of service will one day extend to the classroom.
Although access to vast stores of information
at the click of a button is potentially valuable, there are serious
limitations of CD-ROM (and related technologies) that must be
reconciled before its acceptance in the workplace or school as a
serious alternative to print-based media. Thanks to the consumer
market, the cost constraint has been substantially met. In this section
technological constraints are identified. Design challenges, which are
more relevant to hypertext, are presented later. Our standard for
comparison is the book.
Display Technology and the Human Interface
A distant from CD-ROM per se, but paramount
to the viability of electronic documents, is the quality of the output
display. High-quality cathode-ray tubes (CRTs) present an image as an
X-Y grid of picture elements, or pixels. The EGA standard found on IBM
PC/AT systems, for example, has a resolution of 640 by 350 pixels.
Comparing this with the typical resolution of 1,200 dots per inch for a
typeset page, the quality of the image on an EGA monitor corresponds to
a one-half-inch by one-quarter-inch rectangle. If low-end laser
printers are the standard for comparison, the EGA format corresponds to
a two-inch by one-inch rectangle.
Current state-of-the-art CRTs have
resolutions in the range of 2,000 by 2,000 pixels, with a modest
palette of colours; however, the tubes are large and expensive.
Liquid-crystal displays (LCDs), notable for their economy of scale, are
also expensive and are generally monochrome with about half the
resolution of CRT displays. Despite impressive advances, the quality,
size and expense of output displays must improve before users embrace
new technologies such as CD-ROM as a preferred alternative to
Although our prejudices for computer
technologies parallel our strong visual bias, we should acknowledge the
presence abd bidirectionality of the audio and kinesthetic channels.
Computers use audio output at a primitive level (e.g., beeps) but
rarely any form of audio input (e.g., speech). The primary input
channel is kinesthetic, or haptic (keyboards, mice, etc.), and
isaccompanied by parallel ouput via tactile feedback. Improving the
visual, audio, and haptic channels is the focus of considerable
research in the relatively new multidisciplinary field of
human-computer interaction. By comparison, interaction with books is
relatively primitive. Books are, for the most part, a medium of graphic
What would be the implications if a
computer's graphic output matched the quality of a typeset page? Would
the limitations vanish? Perhaps, but at a price. The 100,000 page
capacity of CD-ROM represents raw text with each character encoded in
one byte. Even ignoring the graphic images often found in books,
magazines, or encyclopedias, the text that remains is difficult to
represent with traditional character-oriented coding systems (such as
ASCII). Boldface, underlining, italics, pitch, point, fonts, margins,
columns, proportional spacing,running heads, page numbers--these
parametric traits instill graphic cues carrying a lot of information.
They are needed at the ouput presentation stage, yet they are
troublesome to encode for storage on magnetic or optical media. Add
graphics, no matter how subtle or simplistic, and the magnitude of the
problem explodes. At issue is not the technical problem of encoding
(for the diversity of images can be dealt with a number of ways), but
that the 100,000-page storage capacity shrinks rapidly as more
elaborate representations emerge. In the extreme, a page richly endowed
with the above attributes is stored as a bit-image. What is the cost?
At typesetting resolutions and without data compression, an 8.5- by
11-inch bit-image gobbles up 17 megabytes of storage. This translates
into 32 pages per CD-ROM! The question arises: How much data is enough?
Computer-based learning environments must encompass not only core
information but also possibilities for exploration. McClintock (1988)
put it this way:
Two megabytes is the typical verbal content for a
not-too-demanding survey text and the use of
illustrations can quickly make that data content
expand by a factor of one hundred or more. Even if
the computer-based courseware had the minimum two
megabytes of information for the root of required
reading, what would then happen with the branching
of the study tree? As things stand, the branching
would be either extremely shallow and narrow or it
would cease to be computer-based. (p. 198)
Futher to this point, Vannevar Bush
(1945/1986), in his visionary essay "As We May Think," offered an
example of a research topic suitable for investigating in a hypermedia
environment: "Why was the short Turkish bow superior to the English
long bow?" In Bush's scenario, a researcher examines on-line history
books and encyclopaedias; but also, acting on whim and intuition,
delves into a physics book on elasticity. Elasticity is quite a distant
branch on the original study tree! A sufficient repository for such
whimsical yet essential explorations would be truly staggering in size.
It seems our thirst for information quickly reduces 550 megabytes to a
pittance. A report on one commercial installation of optical storage
technology notes that the system is a jukebox containing 110 platters
(Fisher, 1989). The question "How much is enough?" remains.
Storage Format and Content Inquiry
What about the 54,000 images stored on a
Laser Vision disc? Indeed, the quality of the image is first-rate, but
the storage format is analog. An intricate graphics-plus-text image is
aptly captured and stored, but the content cannot be queried without an
explicit and external index. The problem is not so much that the
storage format is analog but that the image is captured rather than a
representation of the content. This constraint may diminish as scanning
and pattern recognition techniques mature (e.g., see Robinson, 1989)
but current state-of-the-art technology, at any price, prohibits
extraction of nontrivial information from images, whether the storage
format is analog or digital. As yet, a computer does not exist that can
distinguish the image of a cat from that of the dog.
The need for databases of nontextual or
nonnumerical information has spawned a subbranch of research in data
engineering. Image database management systems (IDBMS), based on
optical storage technology, are beginning to appear in corporations
with large and centralized document centres. At present, however, the
solution is brute force: documents are captured and stored but
retrieval proceeds through primitive indexes. Query-by-content--the
forte of text and numerical DBMS--is not possible. A typical
client-record IDBMS holds, for example, header information such as
name, address, client number, and, more importantly, hand-written
reports, diagrams, or photographs. Although the entire document may be
captured and stored, retrieval is based on key fields entered manually
The content remains a mystery until the
document is retrieved and viewed. Also, the conversion is a Herculean,
round-the-clock effort. One corporation spent a full year converting
1.5 million documents to optical storage (Fisher, 1989). At another
installation, a conversion in-progress will eventually see 10 million
documents migrate from paper to image-based technology (Rowan, 1990).
The challenges for IDBMS are formidable. The
relational query-by-content paradigm was transformed electronic data
processing; but can this evolve beyond the management of data fields to
a general class of objects including images? Grosky and Mehrotra (1989)
pointed out five levels at which the problem must be approached, and
the difficulties grow with each. At the lowest level, Iconic Data
contain the images themselves, either in analog or digital format. The
problems here lie mainly in choosing standards for symbol encoding and
data compression. Next, Image-Related Data describe the storage format
of the image with low-level attributes such as registration
(alignment), resolution, colours, grey scales, grids, and so forth.
Extracted Information, the third level, is interpretative but still
low-level. Images are processed through a model-based filter to
identify the underlying structure. Topological features, physical
components, and simple relationships (e.g., "A" overlaps "B") begin to
emerge at this level.
The fourth and fifth levels contain
Image-World Relationships and World-Related Data. At this point the
problem is highly interpretive and extremely difficult. Progress is
slow. The goal is to map low-level information into real-world
entities, to establish relationships between these entities, and to
provide a textual description, abstracted at the level of the
application. We will not dwell on the particular problems facing image
database management systems except by noting that research is now able
to focus on many of the enabling mechanisms that may one day result in
image-based systems with queried-by-content interfaces.
Bandwidth and Retrieval Time
Another task dimension also illustrates that
CD-ROM capacity is not so vast. Although 550 megabytes equates to more
than 100,000 pages of unembellished text, it represents only 74 minutes
of high-quality audio. There's nothing overwhelming about that. In
practical terms, high-quality motion video is untenable on CD-ROM
because it requires considerably more than audio. The problem lies not
only with the quantity of data but also with the rate at which it is
retrieved--the bandwidth. CD-ROM has a fixed bandwidth of 175 kilobytes
per second. At a rate of 88 kilobytes per second for CD audio, no
visual information can be retrieved coincident with audio information
(Bruno, 1987). But by reducing the quality of the audio or video signal
(mostly like both), a combination of motion and sound is possible,
equivalent in quality to an animated cartoon. However, this still
consumes CD-ROM data at an astonishing rate.
Access time--the time between asking for data
and getting it--is determined for CD-ROMs by mechanical delays in
moving the optics to the track (actually, spiral) containing the data.
This takes one second on the average. If retrieval requires one access
to an index and another to data, this can grow to two seconds. Magnetic
disk drives, with access time in the range of 20-40 milli-seconds, are
at least 25 times faster than CD-ROM disc drives. After the novelty
wears thin, users of CD-ROM applications may tire of the delay. The
bandwidth and access time of CD-ROM will improve only slightly because
they result from mechanical limitations in the drives.
At present, most CD-ROMs are installed on a
dedicated system with one user. This needn't be the case. One promise
of the Information Age is global connectivity, offering rapid access to
large information stores at remote sites (see Wright, 1990). It has
even been suggested that the library of the future may be a computer
network service rather than a building (Nielsen, 1990b, p. 74).
New problems loom when the information
retrieval goes beyond simple text. Video transmissions are
bandwidth-intensive, and when distances exceed arms reach technological
constraints emerge. For example, the 10 megabits/second bandwidth
typical of local area networks (LANs) can support dozens of users
within several kilometers. Although typical LANs perform admirably for
text of software traffic, they grind to a halt with two or three video
channels. Longhaul video transmission using satellite, fibre, or
microwave links is out of the question except for big corporations with
big telecommunications budgets.
Portability and Convenience
The personal computer was quickly followed by
the portable and laptop computers. Down-sizing has now produced the
notebook and palmtop formats. Although the portability and convenience
of books cannot be topped, recent technological advances, such as the
CD Walkman, foretell of the portable CD-ROM book. Recently, Sony
introduced the Discman containing a 3-inch optical disc storing 100,000
pages of text. It seems the Japanese are taking seriously the potential
of the electronic book. An early vision of this came from the Learning
Research Group of Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. "Dynabook" was
portrayed as a dynamic self-contained knowledge manipulator in a
portable package the size of a notebook (Kay & Goldberg, 1977).
Although portability was never realized, tales of the dynabook have
inspired researchers ever since.
Numerous book-like interfaces have been
demonstrated (e.g., Benest, 1990; Bolger, 1989; Egan, Remde, Landauer,
Lochbaum, & Gomez, 1989), but none has seriously addressed
portability. Many design issues (such as browsing and the placement of
annotations or bookmarks) are admirably addressed, but the products
reside on microcomputers. In a field study of hypertext user, 33%
complained that the hardware was not as convenient as paper (Nielsen
& LyngbEk, 1990). The ability to read a book at home, in a park, or
on a train is a compelling feature--one that presents a formidable
challenge to computer and optical technology. There is also substantial
evidence that people read about 30% slower from a computer screen than
from printed text (e.g., Gould & Grishkowsky, 1984). This is
probably related to factors such as resolution and refresh rate, so
technological advances may obviate this element/
Despite numerous problems with portability,
it is evident that researchers, in anticipation of new technology, are
meeting many design challenges. In the next section, we will meet some
The above limitations are purely technical
and they can be brushed off, perhaps, by waiting for advances in
technology. However, there are other dimensions of the task lacking.
These are presented as challenges to developers because their
unravelling will come through inspired innovation and cooperative
design efforts as opposed to breakthroughs in semiconductor physics,
materials science, or algorithms for data compression or pattern
The Nature of the Medium
A whole genre of problems lies in the
differences between the look and feel of an electronic document and the
look and feel of a paper document. Storage capabilities, access times,
and encoding methods are technological problems; closure proximity
cues, linking, and presentation are design and implementation problems.
Inherent in print media is the feeling of what is near or far, what is
important or unimportant, and the sense of completion. Pages are
flipped from beginning to end on impulse, just to get the feel of the
document. The content is scanned in an instant. Oren (1988) calls this
"serendipity"--the ability to browse and explore a document quickly
using a single keystroke or mouse click. The time costs must be low. A
delay of several seconds will suppress the whimsical browsing of side
Closure is the feeling acquired when
finishing a book, a chapter in a book, or any level of the
presentation. In hypertext environment, perhaps based on CD-ROM, it is
a challenge to impart the same feeling. The system should provide
simple statistics, perhaps graphically, or what has been covered and
what remains. Is a particular item in a subsection or sub-subsection?
What is its hierarchical status in the overall organization of the
document? How easy is it to review an item examined earlier?
Disorientation is a major and oft-cited problem when browsing in large
databases (e.g., Conklin 1987; Heller, 1990). In one survey of
hypertext users, 56% admitted often feeling confused about "where I
was" (Nielsen, 1990a). Representing topical proximity is a challenge
that must be met.
Another detail is the efficiency of
presentation. Designers of paper-based products take liberties,
exercise generosity, and generally waste much of the information
potential of a page. This is necessary though. Consistent and spacious
layouts elicit order and structure and facilitate the assimilation of
content. The information theorist's term for this is "redundancy"--a
measure of the inherent order in a system. For example, the English
language is about 50% redundant, exemplified by the observation that a
message with half the words removed is still largely intelligible
(Weaver, 1949). Thus, we need not read every word in a message: we
ingest words in phrases or chunks and quickly proceed. If random
sequences of words were as probable as highly structured word
sequences, there would be zero redundancy. Such a language would
quickly fatigue readers because each word would need to be considered
in isolation from surrounding words. A message of random words would be
indistinguishable from an intended message. Redundancy is desirable and
arguably vital. In the language of information theorists, redundancy
Redundancy exists in a graphic sense as well.
Presentations with high information utilization (that is, low
redundancy) offer too much--the delivery is too busy. Often a design
goal is to exploit the technical possibilities of the medium. As a
result, the layout becomes dense, the subtlety is lost, the message
obscured. For example, novice publishers, armed with sophisticated word
processors, page layout software, and laser printers, are often guilty
of producing output that is fancy and cluttered--all the possibilities
are explored and used. This is also common for presentations on a CRT
display. With too low a resolution to waste on spacious layout showing
structure and order, information is often packed in at the expense of
Herein lies a major challenge for designers:
to assemble and manipulate the presentation addressing structure and
order rather than pushing the information potential of the technology.
With the added dimensions of audio and motion video (albeit, primitive
at present), CD-ROM has the potential to surpass paper documents, but
the presentation must be addressed with care.
Filters and Amplifiers
The presence of vast stores of information on
high-performance machines does not guarantee the demise of the status
quo. Of paramount importance is the ability to amplify or filter
unembellished information. Hypertext systems promise to amplify through
their capability to order and reorder items even though the underlying
structure is nonlinear. Books, with hard-wired structure, offer little
Several levels of sophistication can be
identified (Byers, 1987). The lowest is basic text management, which is
similar to querying systems in traditional databases. The keyword,
Boolean search strategy used in the ERIC CD-ROM application is an
instance of this (MacKenzie, 1989).
The next level--the starting point for
hypertext systems--provides static access to textual or graphic
information through links built in to the database by the developers.
Possibilities are plentiful, but they are limited and cannot be
implemented of the user or systems integrator. Most hypertext systems
retain a history of the user's path and allow back-tracking or review
of past activities. The history is volatile, however, and is not
retained for subsequent explorations. In a study comparing equivalent
hypertext and paper-based documents, Egan et a. (1989) found empirical
evidence that searching in hypertext is quicker and more accurate.
Users have also shown a subjective preference toward hypertext
documents (Marchionini & Shneiderman, 1988).
Dynamic linking, the most sophisticated
method of access, allows the user to add links. Natural and obvious
links exists as cited above, but users can forge new ones while
browsing through the database investigating a topic. The links are
stored for subsequent investigations on the same topic.
In a truly dynamic hypertext system, a user
can add entire documents to the system. This requires a
document-capture facility and a writable and portable storage medium,
such as write-once read-many (WORM) optical discs (Rash, 1988).
In the long run, the ability to filter or
exclude information is as important as having access. Global
connectivity and massive storage systems promise to drown us in
information. What secretaries and consultants presently do for
executive's daily planning and decision making (i.e., screening,
summarizing). must be paralleled in the context of optical discs and
on-line access. Information filtering need not preoccupy a human being,
though. "Knowbots" are software daemons that screen incoming
information on a personalized basis (Wright, 1990). Content inquiry
could benefit from user profiles. An inquiry into the physics of
elasticity, for example, should return different information for a
primary school student than for older students. Profile-guided searches
could encompass numerous other student traits, such as histories of
previous courses taken or personal interest.
The User as Designer
The above discussion has employed the word "user" in a broad sense. Bush (1945) called them "trail blazers":
There is a new profession of trail blazers, those who
find delight in the task of establishing useful trails
through the enormous mass of the common record. The
inheritance from the master becomes, not only his
addictions to the world's record, but for his disciples
the entire scaffolding by which they were erected.
For this discussion, users or trail blazers
are courseware developers, educational consultants, teachers, or
students. The success of dynamic hypertext systems depends on the
extent to which designers can demystify the database and put
customizing in the hands of end users. The further down the
hierarchy--developers, consultants, teachers, students--this power can
be passed, the better. A dynamic hypertext system that a teacher could
easily tailor for a unique classroom setting would be a powerful tool.
If a student can customize it, so much the better. The challenge for
designers, then, is to provide a simple interface with powerful tools
that allows a teacher (or student) to design. Links and documents could
be added by a teacher and offered to students for their own exploration
of a subject. Or, a teacher could assign to students a project to
create their own concept of a subject by linking and adding as they see
The user interface offered by Apple's
HyperCard, for example, is demonstrably easy to use (MacKenzie, 1989),
even for children (Nicol, in press). However, when the underlying
database is extremely large the potential for disorientation and
cognitive overload explodes (Heller, 1990). User-initiated design can
spell chaos unless some major issues in the design of hypertext systems
can be addressed.
Standards and Compatibility
A recent review of five WORM optical disc
drives from three manufacturers pointed out that the discs for each
manufacturer's drive are not interchangeable (Rash, 1988). This is an
ominous situation. Indeed, lack of standardization and incompatibility
are chronic problems of computer and communications systems and the
situation is not likely to change. The term "standard" is sometimes
taken as an industry joke: "There's no shortage of standards: Everybody
has one" (Rowan, 1989, p. B4).
With the recent drive toward global
connectivity, the need for compatibility between and within generations
of software and hardware has never been more important. However,
standards in themselves are not the solution. Often there is a subtle
push and shove as industry moguls promise standardization as a selling
feature while delivering uniqueness in order to gain control and limit
At issue is cooperation, and its role in the
political and economic climate within and between nations. Japan, with
one-tenth the number of lawyers per capita as Canada or the United
States, is an industry leader in cooperation (at least within its
borders). From computer architecture to data communications, there is
more standardization and connectivity in Japan than in any other
country. Large corporations in the United States sometimes collaborate
(e.g., Xerox, Intel, and Digital jointly developed the Ethernet LAN
standard), but a greater cooperative effort may be needed before the
Information Age swells into homes and classrooms.
CD-ROMs have recently arrived in libraries at
many universities and colleges. There is tremendous potential for
students to benefit through access to such stores of knowledge,
particularly if audio and (motion) graphic information are added.
Although installations may be limited to libraries initially, more
direct access is forthcoming in the classroom and at home using
inexpensive, dedicated systems or through network access to large
The paper-based document has proven its
strength for many centuries. Now it is up to designers to meet the
demands of critical users before new technologies will be adopted for
common use. Advances in optical storage media, such as CD-ROM, suggest
that this challenge can be met in the near future it accompanied with
parallel advances in the design of hypertext systems.
Benest, I. D. (1990). Computer-assisted learning using dynamic electronic books. Computers and Education, 15, 195-203.
Bolger, J. (1989). CD-ROM delivery: Breaking new ground. Optical Information Systems, 9, 214-216.
Bruno, R. (1987). Making compact disks interactive. IEEE Spectrum, 42(11), 40-45.
Bush, V. (1986). As we may think. (Reprinted
from The Atlantic Monthly, 1945, July, pp. 101-108.) In S. Lambert S.
Ropiequet (Eds.), CD-ROM: The new papyrus (pp. 3-20). Redmond, WA:
Byers, T. J. (1987,April). Built by association. PC World, pp. 244-251.
Conklin, J. (1987). Hypertext: An introduction and survey. Computer, 20(9), 17-41.
Desmarais, N. (1989a). CD-ROMs proliferate. Part 1: Library/reference discs. Optical Information Systems, 9, 23-29.
Desmarais, N. (1989b). CD-ROMs proliferate.
Part 2: Business/science/government CD-ROM discs. Optical Information
Systems, 9, 98-105.
Egan, D. E., Remde, J. R., Landauer, T. K.,
Lochbaum, C. C., & Gomez, L. M. (1989). Behavioral evaluation and
analysis of a hypertext browser. In Proceedings of the CHI '89
Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 205-210). New
Fisher, M. J. (1989,April 15). Digging out with image technology. Datamation, pp. 18-27.
Gould, J. D., 7 Grischkowsky, N. (1984).
Doing the same work with hard copy and with cathode ray tube (CRT)
computer terminals. Human Factors, 26, 323-337.
Grosky, W. I., & Mehrotra, R. (Eds.). (1989). Image database management [Special Issue]. Computer, 22(12), 7-8.
Heller, R. S. (1990). The role of hypermedia
in education: A look at the research issues. Journal of Research of
Computing in Education, 22, 431-441.
Helsel, S. K. (1989). CD-ROM in general education. Optical Information Systems, 9, 30-37.
Kay, A., & Goldberg, A. (1977,March). Personal dynamic media. Computer, pp. 31-41.
Laub, L. (1986). What is CD-ROM? In S.
Lambert & Ropiequet (Eds.), CD-ROM: The new papyrus (pp. 47-71).
Redmond, WA: Microsoft Press.
MacKenzie, I. S. (1989). A review of four CD-ROM databases. ECOO Output, 10(2), 14-19.
Marchionini, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1988). Findings facts vs. browsing in hypertext systems. Computer, 21(1), 70-88.
McClintock, R. (1988). Into the starting gate: On computing and the curriculum. Teachers College Record, 88(2), 191-215.
Nicol, A. (in press). Children using
HyperCard. In S. Ambron & K. Hooper (Eds.) HyperCard and Education:
Education Advisory Council Journal. Cupertino, CA: Apple Computer, Inc.
Nielsen, J. (1990a). The art of navigating through hypertext. Communications of the ACM, 33, 296-310.
Nielsen, J. (1990b). Hypertext and hypermedia. New York: Academic Press.
Nielsen, J., & LyngbEk, U. (1990). Two
field studies of hypermedia usability. In R. McAleese & C. Green
(Eds.), Hypertext: State of the art. New York: Ablex.
Oren, T. (1988,December). The CD-ROM connection. Byte, pp. 315-320.
Rash, Jr., W. (1988,February). A quintet of WORMs. Byte, pp. 146-151.
Robinson, P. (1989,May). Easy reading. Byte, pp. 203-208.
Rowan, G. (1989,April 17). Personal computers promise dazzling changes. The Globe and Mail, pp. B1, B4.
Rowan, G. (1990,October 23). Paperless office still mirage of industry gurus. The Globe And Mail, pp. C1-C2.
Tanner, D. F., & Bane, R. K. (1989).
CD-ROM: A new technology with promises for education. In A. Lathrop
(Ed.), Online and CD-ROM databases in school libraries (pp. 234-240).
Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited.
Weaver, W. (1949). The mathematics of communication. Scientific American, 181(1), 11-15.
Wright, K. (1990). The road to the global village. Scientific American, 262(3), 83-94.
This paper is based upon research conducted at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.
By I. Scott Mackenzie Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology
Contributors; Scott MacKenzie is a
professor of computer engineering technology at Seneca College of
Applied Arts and Technology. His research interests include the role of
technology in society, human-computer interfaces, and performance
modeling in human-computer dialogues. (Address: Seneca College of
Applied Arts and Technology, 1750 Finch Ave. East, North York, Ontario,
Canada M2J 2X5. Email:email@example.com.)
Copyright of Journal of Research on Computing in Education
is the property of International Society for Technology in Education.
The copyright in an individual article may be maintained by the author
in certain cases. Content may not be copied or emailed to multiple
sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express
written permission. However, users may print, download, or email
articles for individual use.
Source: Journal of Research on Computing in Education, Summer92, Vol. 24 Issue 4, p486, 13p