Enhancing Collaborative Distance Learning through Wiki and Cognitive Mapping

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Presented at the graduate students session of NA-CAP 2007

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<ul><li>1.Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps ConclusionsAEnhancing Collaborative Distance Learningthrough Wiki and Cognitive MappingFederico Gobbo federico.gobbo@uninsubria.it Dipartimento di Informatica e ComunicazioneUniversit` degli Studi dellInsubria, Varese a(cc) Some rights reserved. 1/34 </li></ul><p>2. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps ConclusionsA Good questions our students we expect to learnConsider to have a course for master-degree students in CS. Theydo not have any previous exposure to philosophy in their curriculumand 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 becarried out?What is the status of knowledge gained from conducting anexperiment in evolutionary or genetic programming?How should an empirical experiment in computer science becarried out?2/34 3. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps ConclusionsA A relatively new and fragmented discipline Putting together philosophy and computing is a challenge, for twomain reasons: 3/34 4. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps ConclusionsA A relatively new and fragmented discipline Putting together philosophy and computing is a challenge, for twomain reasons:the dierent backgrounds and conceptual frameworks of 1 researchers; 3/34 5. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps ConclusionsA A relatively new and fragmented discipline Putting together philosophy and computing is a challenge, for twomain reasons:the dierent backgrounds and conceptual frameworks of 1 researchers;the quantity of topics among which to choose. 2Our main goal is to make students aware of the scientic core oftheir discipline and the implications of their future profession. 3/34 6. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps ConclusionsA What our course includesThis course, lead by prof. G.A. Lanzarone and me as the tutor, isnew in the Italian University context.a historical survey of logical thinking; 1a 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; 4deontology of CS professionals. 5 4/34 7. IntroductionRemediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps Conclusions A The Main Question I started fromWhat 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 ConclusionsA The naif technical rationalism view...CS students also share the most common view of technology,where technological artifacts are seen as objective and neutraltechnical things (separate from us) that we can draw upon, ornot, to achieve our particular ends (Introna 2006). 6/34 9. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps ConclusionsA ...and the biotechnological evolutionism viewFor us, technological tools are single occurences of many potentialuses, social outcomes depending on factors like purposes of(human) agents, economic costraints and historical context. Today, human and articial agents work in the same environment,co-operate and co-evolve as a unique human-machine systemsituated both socially and historically. 7/34 10. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps ConclusionsA What is re-mediation? The re-mediation process by Grusin and Bolter (1999)It happens when social contexts change, e.g. for the introductionof a new technological occurrence, existing media are forced toprofoundly transform themselves. Meanwhile, the new media have to hide to get accepted. The naiftechnical rationalism perceives them only as a more ecientsubstitute for some old medium. 8/34 11. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping Wikimaps ConclusionsA 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 ecientnon-xed telephones, while they remediate the whole telephonemedium, since with mobile phones people do far more things thanphone calls (e.g. taking photos, PIM, etc.). The name of this rule comes from the rst 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 WikimapsConclusionsA Remediation of writing Writing is the most important technology we have As shown by the anthropological researches of Ong (1982) andGoody (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, humanitiesbased on alphabet vs. sciences-technologies based on number, arehistorically determined. This helps to go beyond the naif technicalrationalism view. 12/34 15. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping WikimapsConclusionsA Remediation of writing A rst remediation of writing: the typographic spaceAs 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 rstproblems of standardization and the innovative user interface ofthe book as organized by Aldo Manuzio: page numbers, indexes,bibliography. 13/34 16. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping WikimapsConclusionsA Remediation of writing A second remediation of writing: videographic space After the computational turn, new forms of non-sequentialreading were introduced, collectively called hypertext (Bolter1990, Nelson 1989). Such second remediation produced aspecialized form of writing, both machine-understandable andhuman-readable: coding through programming languages. Thus the digital literates should have solid knowledge in thecultures of both alphabet and number. 14/34 17. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping WikimapsConclusionsA A constructivist learning approachIn the advanced educational setting we are trying to set up (inpassing, our course is given in teleconference between the twocities of Varese and Como), our students are encouraged to usedierent writing spaces and to understand their advantages anddisadvantages. What Landow (2006) did in the humanities, introducing a newalphabetization for the new technologies in order to perform apostmodern literary and cultural critique, we are doing in a CScontext, i.e. to re-introduce the old alphabetization argumentative writing in the new writing spaces, in order toperform a philosophical reection.15/34 18. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping WikimapsConclusionsA On writing a philosophy and computing essay During the course we discuss the use of a Gedankenexperiment asa literary genre (Turing 1950, Searle 1980, Floridi 2006). Ourstudents are required to write: 16/34 19. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping WikimapsConclusionsA On writing a philosophy and computing essay During the course we discuss the use of a Gedankenexperiment asa literary genre (Turing 1950, Searle 1980, Floridi 2006). Ourstudents 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 WikimapsConclusionsA On writing a philosophy and computing essay During the course we discuss the use of a Gedankenexperiment asa literary genre (Turing 1950, Searle 1980, Floridi 2006). Ourstudents are required to write:some assignments, i.e. short argumentative texts written on 1 current topics of lectures;a nal 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 WikimapsConclusionsA While a strong typograc space is perfect for the essay...We enforce rigorousness in writing by providing a simple stylesheetof LTEX. AAfter three years of adoption, we noticed a general improvement inquality, both in structure and in form, since a strong typographicwriting space helps students to concentrate on content. 17/34 22. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping WikimapsConclusionsA ...videographic space is better for lecture notes!The implications of using new texts, such as blogs, wikis andfolksonomies (e.g. del.icio.us) is also a topic discussed. Last yearwe decided to wikify our lecture notes. Our current wiki format,called TiddlyWiki, records authorship of every tiddler (Landowslexia). Actual lecture notes have about 500 lexias, for approximately55,000 words. Students can follow our reading paths or createtheir own their tiddlers being shared across academic years, sothat contributions may grow without repetitions and encourageoriginality. 18/34 23. Lecture notes in wiki integrated in a traditional CMS 24. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping WikimapsConclusionsA How we wikied our lecture notesDemo time20/34 25. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping WikimapsConclusionsA The limits of a pure wiki modelWhile in writing an essay students emphasize their convergentthinking, in annotating a wiki they make more use of divergentthinking. The risk of disorientation is high, as it is not always easy tounderstand the relevance and importance of every singleinformation unit lexia in Landows terms. 21/34 26. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping WikimapsConclusionsA How to overcome the limits of wikis Cognitive mapping considers thinking as a self-organizinginformation system, i.e. informations grow and change, while itmaintains accuracy and relevance. When a wiki is started from scratch without supervision e.g. ifwe let students build and share their study paths the risk ofchaos is very high. Cognitive maps can give the necessarylightweight structure to a wiki in order to avoid this risk. 22/34 27. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping WikimapsConclusionsA Why cognitive mapping? Empirical evidences. Our brain process complex informationconveyed visually in a very eective way, we typically identify visualpatterns 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 WikimapsConclusionsA Why cognitive mapping? Empirical evidences. Our brain process complex informationconveyed visually in a very eective way, we typically identify visualpatterns easier than not-visual (e.g. words as concepts).Furthermore, visual images can overcome language barriers. Knowledge elicitation. Information visualization doesnt merelycommunicate ideas but it actively, organizes, concises, and clariesinfo chunks (Dawkins memes) revealing hidden patterns, gaininginsights and discovering new ideas and relations.23/34 29. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping WikimapsConclusionsA Three dierent paradigms for cognitive mapping Cognitive mapping became popular in the 1980s-90s, where it wasuses 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 WikimapsConclusionsA Three dierent paradigms for cognitive mapping Cognitive mapping became popular in the 1980s-90s, where it wasuses esp. for educational and self-coaching purposes, e.g.note-taking, brainstorming, time management, etc.Concept mapping. Initiated by J. D. Novak (and Caas, n2006) and developed in the Institute for Human and MachineCognition (IHMC) over Ausubels works on psychology. 24/34 31. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping WikimapsConclusionsA Three dierent paradigms for cognitive mapping Cognitive mapping became popular in the 1980s-90s, where it wasuses esp. for educational and self-coaching purposes, e.g.note-taking, brainstorming, time management, etc.Concept mapping. Initiated by J. D. Novak (and Caas, n2006) and developed in the Institute for Human and MachineCognition (IHMC) over Ausubels works on psychology.Ocial software: CmapTools (free). 24/34 32. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping WikimapsConclusionsA Three dierent paradigms for cognitive mapping Cognitive mapping became popular in the 1980s-90s, where it wasuses esp. for educational and self-coaching purposes, e.g.note-taking, brainstorming, time management, etc.Concept mapping. Initiated by J. D. Novak (and Caas, n2006) and developed in the Institute for Human and MachineCognition (IHMC) over Ausubels works on psychology.Ocial 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 WikimapsConclusionsA Three dierent paradigms for cognitive mapping Cognitive mapping became popular in the 1980s-90s, where it wasuses esp. for educational and self-coaching purposes, e.g.note-taking, brainstorming, time management, etc.Concept mapping. Initiated by J. D. Novak (and Caas, n2006) and developed in the Institute for Human and MachineCognition (IHMC) over Ausubels works on psychology.Ocial software: CmapTools (free).Mind mapping. Discovered and spread by Tony Buzan(2007) and his own international associations.Ocial software: MindManager (proprietary).24/34 34. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping WikimapsConclusionsA Three dierent paradigms for cognitive mapping Cognitive mapping became popular in the 1980s-90s, where it wasuses esp. for educational and self-coaching purposes, e.g.note-taking, brainstorming, time management, etc.Concept mapping. Initiated by J. D. Novak (and Caas, n2006) and developed in the Institute for Human and MachineCognition (IHMC) over Ausubels works on psychology.Ocial software: CmapTools (free).Mind mapping. Discovered and spread by Tony Buzan(2007) and his own international associations.Ocial software: MindManager (proprietary).Dialogue mapping. Fully explored by Je Conklin (2006)through the CogNexus Institute and the Open University.24/34 35. Introduction Remediation of writing Wiki and L TEX Cognitive Mapping WikimapsConclusionsA Three dierent paradigms for cognitive mapping Cognitive mapping became popular in the 1980s-90s, where it wasuses esp....</p>