October 1, 1979 INTRODUCTION
HISTORY
University English 16 course "Critical Analysis of British and
American Literature: Poetry" taught by Professor Robert Scholes
and James Catano. Since the Hypertext facilities that were new
for the first experiment were already installed, attention was
focused on the development of the Hypertext database itself. All
reading and homework was done online by the twelve students
participating in the special section of the class. Thus, in
addition to their critiques of the poems, they were able to leave
comments and questions in the text as well as create their own
interest-based trails, enriching the database for subsequent
readers. Instructor's comments on student work were also added to
the database.
The results of this experiment, while statistically not
definitive because of the small number of students involved, were
extremely encouraging with respect to quality of work performed
and the quantity produced. Among the observations and benefits
obtained, were 1) The Hypertext system was relatively easy to
learn, whether or not the user had a technical background; 2) The
Hypertext users produced prodigious amounts of written work,
despite the fact that English 16 was not primarily a writing
course; 3) Independent evaluation showed students in the Hypertext
section to have improved more than students in the other sections.
The instructors all felt that FRESS enabled the students to make
significant progress, especially in the areas of increased
self-confidence and improved critical abilities; 4) Active
interaction with the material was extensive and a great
improvement over the earlier experiment; 5) The benefits from
classroom and Hypertext experiences were complementary. Both were
needed in the course format and neither should be emphasized too
strongly at the expense of the other.
In general, the results of the experiment indicated that the
use of a Hypertext system provided substantial educational
benefits to students and instructors. In particular, the
Hypertext system provides a convenient and powerful medium for
stimulating the communication of ideas among students and their
instructors. The product of this environment is a significant new
approach to the development of critical and writing skills. The
following year another section of English 16 was led by James
Catano, using the same database; similar encouraging results were
obtained.
The system as it stands today is used primarily for text
editing of large documents with online Hypertext Structure for
easy access and/or selective printing. Keywords, decimal section
outlines, labels, etc., are used for maintaining bibliographies,
reading lists, multiple versions of a manuscript with many common
parts, and large manuscripts such as books and theses.
Development has largely stopped and the limited available manpower
is used for maintenance and bug fixing.
2 -- Section 1.1anual Release 9.1
October 1, 1979 INTRODUCTION
SUPPORT
1.2 SUPPORT ___________


N O T I C E

FRESS was developed at Brown, and is currently supported only
by a part-time student programmer. There are still bugs in
FRESS, particularly in the editor, which sometimes causes it
to act unpredictably. It is possible for bugs in the editor
to directly damage a FRESS file to a point that necessitates
assistance from the FRESS staff. The lack of FRESS support
may sometimes delay a user, in that there is not enough
manpower to service all system-related problems as soon as
they are reported. Any potential FRESS user should be aware
that because of this, and related problems, he is more "on his
no own" than if he uses other software. There is also __
commitment to support FRESS __________ __ _______ _____ in the event that hardware
substantially different from the current IBM line is acquired.


contact the FRESS staff There are two ways in which users can _______________________:
(1) In writing or by telephone, through the Department of
Computer Science [(401) 863-3300], Box 1910, Brown
University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912; and
(2) Online, through the "FRESS-communication" facility. If
in the FRESS environment, it can be invoked simply be
typing ".frscomm" or ".help". While in CMS, the user
access can get ______ to FRESS by issuing the CMS command
"LIBRARY FRESS" (this is unnecessary if the user has
already been in the FRESS environment during the current
terminal session).
The "FRESS-communications" facility allows the user to send a
message to the FRESS staff and/or a copy of a FRESS file that does
not appear to be working the way the user intended it to. If a
should not use it again file is sent, the user _______________________ until contacted by
the FRESS staff.
standard way for the FRESS staff to communicate There is also a _______________________________________________
with all FRESS users ____________________. When FRESS is invoked, the first line typed
has two dates. The first refers to the date when the current
FRESS version (e.g., "version 9.1") was created, and the second
(in parenthesis) indicates the last time that the ".info" command
macro was updated. By typing ".info," the FRESS users can find
out any current news.
FRESS Resource Manualnual Release 9.1 Section 1.2 -- 3
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