Internet-based information and communication technologies are changing how training is being conducted in colleges, universities, and private companies. However, to create successful learning environments the designers and developers have to understand how communication and interaction, two key features of the learning process, are changed by computers. Moreover, they have to explore the possibilities of successfully instructing via networks while proving the learning and cost effectiveness of these innovative systems. To support this process the article presents a framework for the development of Web-based learning environments. These environments can be considered a particular form of hypermedia: computer-stored information, which is connected and retrieved via links. A particular focus is given to the analysis of shared hypermedia, new Internet tools in which different users, who are simultaneously browsing the same Web site, can communicate with each other. To be successful, shared hypermedia have to develop communities of practice, an approach that involves collaborative peer relationships and teachers/students' participation in educational research and practice.
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