Coventry University is pioneering the integration of hypermedia into the curriculum for the teaching of Italian language and society with the creation of a package based on Nerino Rossi's novel La neve nel bicchiere. The novel was already in use as a basic course text, and developing a hypermedia package was felt to be the ideal way of creating a more stimulating means of access to it. The procedure used in creating the package is described, as are its contents, the ways in which the students use it and the tasks they are given to perform, the feedback from the students, and its impact on their performance. The testing of the prototype has helped in creating a new cognitive model: the FREE (Fluid Role‐Exchange Environment) which functions as a fluid and interactive ‘pool’ where the three main actors, or act ants, ie. the learner, the lecturer and the computer, exchange roles. Within the FREE, students were involved in the construction and evaluation of the courseware, as well as testing the various versions of the prototype. The development and use of hypermedia inside and outside the classroom has made it possible to change both the students’ and the lecturer's attitude towards the material being learnt. However, the courseware does not seem to equip students sufficiently for essay writing, and this problem needs further investigation
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