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Internet Literacy

Research by Natalya Sinitskaya

Interactive Reading

Hypertext engages readers in active interaction with the text on inter and intra-textual levels. The process of interaction requires a set of skills that is quite different form traditional print-based literacy.

 

· Non-sequential reading (Landow and Delany, 1991)

Readers learn how to make their way through the text by making conscious choices about the paths they are taking. They acquire higher-order reading skills by making connections on various textual levels.

· Critical reading (Barnes, 1994; Bolter, 1998)

The accessibility and volume of information available through hypertext encourages readers to assess critically whether a chunk of information is relevant. Further, readers build the awareness that the text can turn out to be different from what they expected.

· Reader-centered encounter with the text (Barnes, 1994; Landow and Delany, 1991)

The reader is actively engaged in the process of determining his or her own path through the information field and constructing his or her own meaning. This allows readers to engage in the process of identity investment (Cummins, 2001) through accessing relevant materials that will cognitively and affectively engage them.

· Collaboration with the author (Bolter, 1998; Slatin, 1991)

One of the most prominent features of online hypertext is its democratization and blurring the authority of the author. Reader can actively interact with the author in constructing the meaning, by choosing the links, posting comments, and providing new links for the author.

· Manipulation skills (Peters, 1996)

Hypertexts can be manipulated much easier, faster and more efficiently than the print-based texts (consider search options, spell  and grammar checks).

 

 

Reading Hypertext

Basing on interactive and navigation skills, three types of readers can be distinguished.