April 18, 2008

Video presentations for Academic Journals

Yesterday a colleague sent me an email from the Journal of Number Theory explaining that, for the future, the authors of all accepted papers will be invited to submit a video presentation of a "talk" of their paper for the Journal's YouTube channel. To me, this makes so much sense I am sort of surprised that no one has thought of it before. We're all so busy, and watching a simple video presentation of a paper seems as if it would really provide a nice cognitive organizer for the paper, providing another "type" of learning opportunity that could deepen understanding of the paper when you read it. I like it. But will it just make reading of papers obsolete? Will the talks become like Cliffs Notes, actually replacing the reading of papers altogether? Possibly, but I think the risk is worth it. Personally, I never have time to read all of the papers that I should be reading; this would give me the opportunity to actually connect with a much wider body of research than I am able to currently.

March 26, 2008

help seeking in electronic learning

students aren't always good at determining when they need help.

three times that learners use tools well:
• there must be an opportunity for support (some type of help is there when the user needs its)
• learners recognize that there is an opportunity; he or she knows why the tool could be of help to them
• learners need to be motivated to look for help when they need it

in general, students tend not to use help enough or overuse it (use it too much, grow dependent on it or try to use it to answer questiosn instead of thinking it through themselves)

tools that provide direct information are more used, but meta-cognitive and generalized tools that support building skills to help oneself are less used.

they are asking: when students use help does it help their learning, when they provide advice do students use tools more, and does using tools help with student variables such as goal orientation, motivation, etc..?

Groups that received advice on how to use the help tools inline spent more time with the help tools. Mastery-oriented students used help tools significantly less frequently than did others.

Talk 3: Using or not using help tools during collaborative tasks

January 24, 2008

Cognitive load and Web 2.0 technologies

I've been noodling on this idea of cognitive load and its relationship and how Web 2.0 technologies might be used to address issues of cognitive load as they relate to the news media. Assuming one could address the challenges associated with extraneous cognitive load (from the technology itself), could we begin to use syndication and aggregation (and disaggregation) as a means of reducing cognitive load and allowing people to make more and better sense of the news related to a topic? I feel a study coming on...