Re: Glossary functions and features in elearning

Subject: Re: Glossary functions and features in elearning
From: Dick Margulis <margulis -at- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2002 17:45:39 -0500


I would strongly recommend that you leave all glossed words undecorated and uncolored. In other words, they should look just like the surrounding text. I say this because, from your description, passages would start to be heavily populated with links; and once a reader knows the word, visible links are merely distractions. They do not aid comprehension.

Okay, so if you can't determine which words are glossed by looking at them, what do you do? Some thoughts:

The author (not the software) can decide to bold words to cue the reader about the glossary entry. Typically an author would do this on the first occurrence (or perhaps the first occurrence in each unit, if the units can be accessed independently).

Readers should be instructed, once, that to learn about any unfamiliar term in the text, they should float the mouse over the word (or, perhaps, click the word).

On mouseover, you could show a tooltip (or Title/Alt text, whatever you want to call it, but you know what I mean). This might be either the definition itself (if it is short enough), or an instruction to click the word for a full definition.

I think doing it this way would keep it unobtrusive but easily available.

My two cents.


Brad Jensen wrote:

Some questions I have for you all are:

1. Are there any favorite/semistandard colors for such links?
2. what would you do if such a word (dogwood) is inside an html
link (innertext)
3. what do you love and hate about the glossary definers you
have in other products now?


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RE: telecommuting research for proposal: From: Robyn Schell
Glossary functions and features in elearning: From: Brad Jensen

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