Creating and Evaluating the Effectiveness of Hyperlinks

At the risk of stating the obvious, students often have a difficult time doing original research and then synthesizing their work into a presentation. 

If students have difficulty sythesizing original research, in the case of hypertext narrative it is equally obvious that they have difficulty understanding how hyperlinks can enhance the context of their writing. 

This avtivity uses a kind of reverse engineering that will provide a way of illustrating quality linking to students.  It will also provide students with writing and editing practice while giving them a better understanding of the process of extracting information and synethsizing it into a product. 

Start by finding an interesting text based article of about 3,000 words.  It could be less, but I would avoid anything larger. 

Have students read the article and then rewrite in their own words for a publication that has space for only 600-800 words.

Assess the student work using whatever rubric you use in your writing process.  Then present the class with the best summary created.

Give the students the task of turning it into a 3DWriting article by going out to the Internet and finding information to enhance the content of the shorter article and create links that support or enhance the content and demonstrate what they have learned in doing the research. 

With each link they create, they should ask the questions:
1) How does this link support the the content?
2) How does this link show what I have learned?

For this activity, students were given the article, How The Stirrup Changed Our World, by Dan Derby.  

This is the summary that was chosen as best and give to all the students to turn into a 3DWriting project. 

The links below are to three of the projects that might have been created by students.  

You are to examine what each student did with the summary and determine which student did a best job of using links effectively to enhance the summary and demonstrate the learning that took place.

As you examine the links on each summary, ask yourself the same two questions the students had to answer as they created the links.
1) How has the link enriched the context of the sentence, paragraph, or story being told?
2) How does the link show what the person has learned through their research?

Make notes about each student's use of links, paying particular attention to how students handled links on identical phrases.

Student #1

Student #2

Student #3

As you examine the student work, begin thinking about how you would add a column to your writing rubric to assess the effective use of hyperlinks.  Think about how you and your students can develop this portion of the rubric together.

After you have made your initial notes,  visit the teacher page where you can see my comments on the efforts of the three students.  After completing that visit, you should be ready to write the rubric