Author(s): P. De Bra
TheWeb has revolutionized the way information is delivered to people throughout
It did not take long for learning material to be delivered through the
Web, using electronic textbooks.
The use of hypertext links gives the learner a
lot of freedom to decide on the order in which to study the material.
This leads to
problems in understanding electronic textbooks, which can be solved using adaptive
hypermedia methods and techniques.
In this chapter we describe how the field of
educational hypermedia benefits from user modeling and adaptation.We also show
that the information gathered about the learners and their learning process can be
used to improve the quality of electronic textbooks.
For a long time the use of hypermedia in education was limited because of the
need for specialized hardware/software platforms for bringing hypermedia to the
Some readers may remember the Plato system , featuring personal
and group notes, threaded discussions, hyperlinks, interactive elements and games,
Its use was restricted to institutes equipped with special terminals, connected
to large mainframe computers running the Plato environment.
A more affordable
but also unsuccessful attempt at bringing hypermedia and interactivity to the public
was the introduction of CD-Interactive by Philips and Sony (in 1986).
other (hypermedia) environments suitable for delivering interactive learning material
have been developed but never became popular.
Then, in 1989, Tim Berners
Lee started developing the ideas and software for the World Wide Web.
implementations of web servers (from CERN and NCSA, much later evolved into
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Paper DOI: 10.2495/1-84564-152-3/01
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this page to a colleague.