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Enhancing Collaborative Distance Learning through Wiki and Cognitive Mapping

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Presented at the graduate students session of NA-CAP 2007

Presented at the graduate students session of NA-CAP 2007

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  • 1. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Enhancing Collaborative Distance Learning through Wiki and Cognitive Mapping Federico Gobbo federico.gobbo@uninsubria.it Dipartimento di Informatica e Comunicazione Universit` degli Studi dell’Insubria, Varese a (cc) Some rights reserved. 1/34
  • 2. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Good questions our students we expect to learn Consider to have a course for master-degree students in CS. They do not have any previous exposure to philosophy in their curriculum and you want to force them think about critical questions, such as: Is computer science really a science? How should an empirical experiment in computer science be carried out? What is the status of knowledge gained from conducting an experiment in evolutionary or genetic programming? How should an empirical experiment in computer science be carried out? 2/34
  • 3. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A A relatively new and fragmented discipline Putting together philosophy and computing is a challenge, for two main reasons: 3/34
  • 4. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A A relatively new and fragmented discipline Putting together philosophy and computing is a challenge, for two main reasons: the different backgrounds and conceptual frameworks of 1 researchers; 3/34
  • 5. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A A relatively new and fragmented discipline Putting together philosophy and computing is a challenge, for two main reasons: the different backgrounds and conceptual frameworks of 1 researchers; the quantity of topics among which to choose. 2 Our main goal is to make students aware of the scientific core of their discipline and the implications of their future profession. 3/34
  • 6. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A What our course includes This course, lead by prof. G.A. Lanzarone and me as the tutor, is new in the Italian University context. a historical survey of logical thinking; 1 a historical survey about the development of computing 2 machines; a presentation of ontology and the main approaches to the 3 mind since the “computational turn”; computer ethics; 4 deontology of CS professionals. 5 4/34
  • 7. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A The Main Question I started from What is the best way to convey information of lecture notes, assignments and essays? 5/34
  • 8. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A The naif technical rationalism view... CS students also share the most common view of technology, where technological artifacts are “seen as objective and neutral ‘technical things’ (separate from us) that we can draw upon, or not, to achieve our particular ends” (Introna 2006). 6/34
  • 9. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A ...and the biotechnological evolutionism view For us, technological tools are single occurences of many potential uses, social outcomes depending on factors like purposes of (human) agents, economic costraints and historical context. Today, human and artificial agents work in the same environment, co-operate and co-evolve as a unique human-machine system situated both socially and historically. 7/34
  • 10. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A What is re-mediation? The re-mediation process by Grusin and Bolter (1999) It happens when social contexts change, e.g. for the introduction of a new technological occurrence, existing media are forced to profoundly transform themselves. Meanwhile, the new media have to hide to get accepted. The naif technical rationalism perceives them only as a more efficient substitute for some old medium. 8/34
  • 11. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A What is re-mediation? The horseless carriage rule by McLuhan (1964) The new media have to conceal from the others to get accepted. For instance, mobile phones were perceived simply as more efficient non-fixed telephones, while they remediate the whole telephone medium, since with mobile phones people do far more things than phone calls (e.g. taking photos, PIM, etc.). The name of this rule comes from the first analysis by McLuhan (1964), with respect to the evolution of automobiles. 9/34
  • 12. A carriage, museum of science and technology, Milan
  • 13. Alfa Romeo 2300 Spider Sport, also in Milan
  • 14. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Remediation of writing Writing is the most important technology we have As shown by the anthropological researches of Ong (1982) and Goody (1982), the alphabet and the notion of natural number – zero excluded – were born together, deeply transforming society. We show our students that the so-called two cultures, humanities based on alphabet vs. sciences-technologies based on number, are historically determined. This helps to go beyond the naif technical rationalism view. 12/34
  • 15. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Remediation of writing A first remediation of writing: the typographic space As shown by Eisenstein (1983) the concepts of authorship, copyright and book as known today were born in the Modern Era. We call this the typographic space, putting emphasis on the first problems of standardization and the innovative user interface of the book as organized by Aldo Manuzio: page numbers, indexes, bibliography. 13/34
  • 16. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Remediation of writing A second remediation of writing: videographic space After the “computational turn”, new forms of non-sequential reading were introduced, collectively called ‘hypertext’ (Bolter 1990, Nelson 1989). Such second remediation produced a specialized form of writing, both machine-understandable and human-readable: coding through programming languages. Thus the “digital literates” should have solid knowledge in the cultures of both alphabet and number. 14/34
  • 17. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A A constructivist learning approach In the advanced educational setting we are trying to set up (in passing, our course is given in teleconference between the two cities of Varese and Como), our students are encouraged to use different writing spaces and to understand their advantages and disadvantages. What Landow (2006) did in the humanities, introducing a new alphabetization for the new technologies in order to perform a postmodern literary and cultural critique, we are doing in a CS context, i.e. to re-introduce the old alphabetization – argumentative writing – in the new writing spaces, in order to perform a philosophical reflection. 15/34
  • 18. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A On writing a philosophy and computing essay During the course we discuss the use of a Gedankenexperiment as a literary genre (Turing 1950, Searle 1980, Floridi 2006). Our students are required to write: 16/34
  • 19. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A On writing a philosophy and computing essay During the course we discuss the use of a Gedankenexperiment as a literary genre (Turing 1950, Searle 1980, Floridi 2006). Our students are required to write: some assignments, i.e. short argumentative texts written on 1 current topics of lectures; 16/34
  • 20. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A On writing a philosophy and computing essay During the course we discuss the use of a Gedankenexperiment as a literary genre (Turing 1950, Searle 1980, Floridi 2006). Our students are required to write: some assignments, i.e. short argumentative texts written on 1 current topics of lectures; a final essay, i.e. a longer elaboration on a topic of their 2 choice, previously approved by the teacher and the tutor. 16/34
  • 21. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A While a strong typografic space is perfect for the essay... We enforce rigorousness in writing by providing a simple stylesheet of LTEX. A After three years of adoption, we noticed a general improvement in quality, both in structure and in form, since a strong typographic writing space helps students to concentrate on content. 17/34
  • 22. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A ...videographic space is better for lecture notes! The implications of using ‘new texts’, such as blogs, wikis and folksonomies (e.g. del.icio.us) is also a topic discussed. Last year we decided to ‘wikify’ our lecture notes. Our current wiki format, called TiddlyWiki, records authorship of every “tiddler” (Landow’s ‘lexia’). Actual lecture notes have about 500 lexias, for approximately 55,000 words. Students can follow our reading paths or create their own – their tiddlers being shared across academic years, so that contributions may grow without repetitions and encourage originality. 18/34
  • 23. Lecture notes in wiki integrated in a traditional CMS
  • 24. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A How we ‘wikified’ our lecture notes Demo time 20/34
  • 25. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A The limits of a pure wiki model While in writing an essay students emphasize their convergent thinking, in annotating a wiki they make more use of divergent thinking. The risk of disorientation is high, as it is not always easy to understand the relevance and importance of every single information unit – ‘lexia’ in Landow’s terms. 21/34
  • 26. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A How to overcome the limits of wikis Cognitive mapping considers thinking as a self-organizing information system, i.e. informations grow and change, while it maintains accuracy and relevance. When a wiki is started from scratch without supervision – e.g. if we let students build and share their study paths – the risk of chaos is very high. Cognitive maps can give the necessary lightweight structure to a wiki in order to avoid this risk. 22/34
  • 27. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Why cognitive mapping? Empirical evidences. Our brain process complex information conveyed visually in a very effective way, we typically identify visual patterns easier than not-visual (e.g. words as concepts). Furthermore, visual images can overcome language barriers. 23/34
  • 28. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Why cognitive mapping? Empirical evidences. Our brain process complex information conveyed visually in a very effective way, we typically identify visual patterns easier than not-visual (e.g. words as concepts). Furthermore, visual images can overcome language barriers. Knowledge elicitation. Information visualization doesn’t merely communicate ideas but it actively, organizes, concises, and clarifies info chunks (Dawkins’ memes) revealing hidden patterns, gaining insights and discovering new ideas and relations. 23/34
  • 29. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Three different paradigms for cognitive mapping Cognitive mapping became popular in the 1980s-90s, where it was uses esp. for educational and self-coaching purposes, e.g. note-taking, brainstorming, time management, etc. 24/34
  • 30. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Three different paradigms for cognitive mapping Cognitive mapping became popular in the 1980s-90s, where it was uses esp. for educational and self-coaching purposes, e.g. note-taking, brainstorming, time management, etc. Concept mapping. Initiated by J. D. Novak (and Ca˜as, n 2006) and developed in the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) over Ausubel’s works on psychology. 24/34
  • 31. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Three different paradigms for cognitive mapping Cognitive mapping became popular in the 1980s-90s, where it was uses esp. for educational and self-coaching purposes, e.g. note-taking, brainstorming, time management, etc. Concept mapping. Initiated by J. D. Novak (and Ca˜as, n 2006) and developed in the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) over Ausubel’s works on psychology. Official software: CmapTools (free). 24/34
  • 32. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Three different paradigms for cognitive mapping Cognitive mapping became popular in the 1980s-90s, where it was uses esp. for educational and self-coaching purposes, e.g. note-taking, brainstorming, time management, etc. Concept mapping. Initiated by J. D. Novak (and Ca˜as, n 2006) and developed in the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) over Ausubel’s works on psychology. Official software: CmapTools (free). Mind mapping. Discovered and spread by Tony Buzan (2007) and his own international associations. 24/34
  • 33. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Three different paradigms for cognitive mapping Cognitive mapping became popular in the 1980s-90s, where it was uses esp. for educational and self-coaching purposes, e.g. note-taking, brainstorming, time management, etc. Concept mapping. Initiated by J. D. Novak (and Ca˜as, n 2006) and developed in the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) over Ausubel’s works on psychology. Official software: CmapTools (free). Mind mapping. Discovered and spread by Tony Buzan (2007) and his own international associations. Official software: MindManager (proprietary). 24/34
  • 34. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Three different paradigms for cognitive mapping Cognitive mapping became popular in the 1980s-90s, where it was uses esp. for educational and self-coaching purposes, e.g. note-taking, brainstorming, time management, etc. Concept mapping. Initiated by J. D. Novak (and Ca˜as, n 2006) and developed in the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) over Ausubel’s works on psychology. Official software: CmapTools (free). Mind mapping. Discovered and spread by Tony Buzan (2007) and his own international associations. Official software: MindManager (proprietary). Dialogue mapping. Fully explored by Jeff Conklin (2006) through the CogNexus Institute and the Open University. 24/34
  • 35. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Three different paradigms for cognitive mapping Cognitive mapping became popular in the 1980s-90s, where it was uses esp. for educational and self-coaching purposes, e.g. note-taking, brainstorming, time management, etc. Concept mapping. Initiated by J. D. Novak (and Ca˜as, n 2006) and developed in the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) over Ausubel’s works on psychology. Official software: CmapTools (free). Mind mapping. Discovered and spread by Tony Buzan (2007) and his own international associations. Official software: MindManager (proprietary). Dialogue mapping. Fully explored by Jeff Conklin (2006) through the CogNexus Institute and the Open University. Official software: Compendium (free). 24/34
  • 36. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Mind maps Radiant thinking is the base of mind mapping Mind mapping (trademarked by Tony Buzan) begins from a central idea. 25/34
  • 37. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Mind maps Radiant thinking is the base of mind mapping Mind mapping (trademarked by Tony Buzan) begins from a central idea. Then related ideas radiate out from the center as branches. They are called Basic Ordering Ideas (BOIs). 25/34
  • 38. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Mind maps Radiant thinking is the base of mind mapping Mind mapping (trademarked by Tony Buzan) begins from a central idea. Then related ideas radiate out from the center as branches. They are called Basic Ordering Ideas (BOIs). Some branches give birth to minor branches, as minor themes or particular and detailed ideas. 25/34
  • 39. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Mind maps Radiant thinking is the base of mind mapping Mind mapping (trademarked by Tony Buzan) begins from a central idea. Then related ideas radiate out from the center as branches. They are called Basic Ordering Ideas (BOIs). Some branches give birth to minor branches, as minor themes or particular and detailed ideas. Like neurons. 25/34
  • 40. An example: a mind map about the summer school ESSAP
  • 41. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Mind maps Mind mapping is fast and easy A mind map is a tree structure of keywords and they relations. It has a radiant shape and is much more rich in colours, pictures, and drawings compared with concept or dialogue maps. Human brains recognize shapes and drawings better than words and numbers, so if you want to remember ideas give them a good look. 27/34
  • 42. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Dialogue Mapping Dialogue maps as solutions to wicked problems Mind maps work well for singles, but they can be difficult to be shared or to be created by gropus, as they have no structure at all. Dialogue mapping try to overcome these limits with a lightweight structure. Unlike mind mapping, links (arcs) may be tagged. Compendium is based on the conversational or dialogue mapping approach and derived from Issue-Based Information System (IBIS). Horst Rittel developed IBIS in the 1970s as a method to solve wicked problems. Unlike tame problems, in the case of wicked problems the problem solving approach doesn’t fit. 28/34
  • 43. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Dialogue Mapping Dialogue maps as group support Dialogue mapping is particulary useful in groups, i.e. supporting the continous dialogue among stakeholders in the problem in order to reframe. Every misunderstanding or disagreement should be reframed as an issue or in an inquiry, avoiding the so-called “answer reflex” (the loop question-justification). 29/34
  • 44. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Dialogue Mapping The Bohr model of the rhetoric atom (Conklin 2006) 30/34
  • 45. We want you (as developers!) http://wikimaps.rubyforge.org
  • 46. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Wikimaps: the prototypical application Demo time 32/34
  • 47. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Some remarks In this paper it was presented: 33/34
  • 48. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Some remarks In this paper it was presented: our starting point in the teaching of philosophy and 1 computing; 33/34
  • 49. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Some remarks In this paper it was presented: our starting point in the teaching of philosophy and 1 computing; how to use different writing spaces, delving into other fields. 2 33/34
  • 50. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Some remarks In this paper it was presented: our starting point in the teaching of philosophy and 1 computing; how to use different writing spaces, delving into other fields. 2 What it is still in the todo list: 33/34
  • 51. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Some remarks In this paper it was presented: our starting point in the teaching of philosophy and 1 computing; how to use different writing spaces, delving into other fields. 2 What it is still in the todo list: a test phase of wikimaps as an integrated engine for lecture 1 notes by the developer team (i.e. Lanzarone and me); 33/34
  • 52. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Some remarks In this paper it was presented: our starting point in the teaching of philosophy and 1 computing; how to use different writing spaces, delving into other fields. 2 What it is still in the todo list: a test phase of wikimaps as an integrated engine for lecture 1 notes by the developer team (i.e. Lanzarone and me); a first release for the final users (i.e. students) as an 2 integrated engine for lecture notes where they can add they study paths. 33/34
  • 53. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Some remarks In this paper it was presented: our starting point in the teaching of philosophy and 1 computing; how to use different writing spaces, delving into other fields. 2 What it is still in the todo list: a test phase of wikimaps as an integrated engine for lecture 1 notes by the developer team (i.e. Lanzarone and me); a first release for the final users (i.e. students) as an 2 integrated engine for lecture notes where they can add they study paths. a non-prototypical release of wikimaps. 3 33/34
  • 54. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A Thank you for your kind attention. Download these slides at the following permalink: http://slideshare.net/goberiko (cc) F. Gobbo 2007. Published in Italy. Attribuzione – Non commerciale – Condividi allo stesso modo 2.5. 34/34