Hypertext Support Materials

HyperText Markup Language (HTML) provides a readily accessible medium for construction and timely editing of electronic guides to resources and procedures. In the last 18 months I have produced a variety of WWW-based hypertexts to support (1) teaching I have done in various classes, (2) access to Leyburn Library materials, and (3) exploration of Web resources. The greatest advantage of this medium is the possibility to construct and show detailed examples of the use of electronic resources and comment upon them; the results (which are much more extensive than what it is possible to show in a 50-minute class) are then available for review after the class is over. The hypertexts can be edited and augmented easily.

The fullest development of this approach to 'library and information access instruction' has been for the Biology 182 course (taken by all Biology majors).

A recent request (from Darcy Russell) for a review class for advanced students resulted in this

I have produced some general guides to Biology resources as well: Materials prepared in response to a request for two classes on library and electronic access: Issues raised in these classes also led me to begin a weblet on quantum mechanics, which I intend to develop further during Winter 1996.

The same general presentation techniques are also useful in improving access to existing resources at W&L: there is a weblet examining the collection of 19th century chemistry books in Leyburn, and another to assist with the process of design of the Science Reference collection for the new Science Library.

I have constructed weblets to facilitate access to distant resources in many fields and disciplines. The links to Scientific Visualization Resources (for a course I taught with Tyler Lorig in Spring 1995) provide an example of interdisciplinary science materials. Others for the English Department and for Latin American and East Asian Studies are also available as examples of the techniques involved. A weblet reporting my investigations of the Online Oxford English Dictionary (prepared for a demonstration to the English Department faculty) is also available. A collection of examples of other sites' use of the Web as an information distribution medium (Faculty Handbooks, Admissions and Alumni offices, etc.) has evolved as various university offices started to consider creating their own web presences.