counter

Putting People First

Daily insights on user experience, experience design and people-centred innovation
Audience Business Culture Design Locations Media Methods Services Social Issues

Children


Disabled


Elderly


Gender


Teens


Advertising


Branding


Business


Innovation


Marketing


Mechatronics


Technology


Architecture


Art


Creativity


Culture


Identity


Mobility


Museum


Co-creation


Design


Experience design


Interaction design


Presence


Service design


Ubiquitous computing


Africa


Americas


Asia


Australia


Europe


Italy


Turin


Blogging


Book


Conference


Media


Mobile phone


Play


Virtual world


Ethnography


Foresight


Prototype


Scenarios


Usability


User experience


User research


Education


Financial services


Healthcare


Public services


Research


Tourism


Urban development


Communications


Digital divide


Emerging markets


Participation


Social change


Sustainability


Posts in category 'Education'

23 August 2011

“Digital natives” need help understanding search

University library
A two-year, five-campus ethnographic study on how students view and use their campus libraries showed that students rarely ask librarians for help, even when they need it. The idea of a librarian as an academic expert who is available to talk about assignments and hold their hands through the research process is, in fact, foreign to most students. Those who even have the word “librarian” in their vocabularies often think library staff are only good for pointing to different sections of the stacks.

“The ERIAL (Ethnographic Research in Illinois Academic Libraries) project — a series of studies conducted at Illinois Wesleyan, DePaul University, and Northeastern Illinois University, and the University of Illinois’s Chicago and Springfield campuses — [...] enlisted two anthropologists, along with their own staff members, to collect data using open-ended interviews and direct observation, among other methods.

One thing the librarians now know is that their students’ research habits are worse than they thought.

At Illinois Wesleyan University, “The majority of students — of all levels — exhibited significant difficulties that ranged across nearly every aspect of the search process,” according to researchers there. They tended to overuse Google and misuse scholarly databases. They preferred simple database searches to other methods of discovery, but generally exhibited “a lack of understanding of search logic” that often foiled their attempts to find good sources. [...]

The prevalence of Google in student research is well-documented, but the Illinois researchers found something they did not expect: students were not very good at using Google. They were basically clueless about the logic underlying how the search engine organizes and displays its results. Consequently, the students did not know how to build a search that would return good sources. (For instance, limiting a search to news articles, or querying specific databases such as Google Book Search or Google Scholar.)”

- Read article [Inside HigherEd]
- Same article [USA Today]

(via BoingBoing)

11 August 2011

Mobile Learning Toolkit published

Mobile Learning Toolkit
The mobile phone is now a ubiquitous item even among the world’s poorest, and in fact over 70% of the mobile phones on the planet are in developing countries.

With this in mind, a new Mobile Learning Toolkit has been launched to empower trainers in developing contexts to integrate mobile learning into their teaching.

The 98‐page toolkit contains 15 mobile learning methods divided into 4 categories that trainers can choose from depending on their needs – whether they’re looking deliver content; assign tasks; gather feedback; or provide support to their training participants.

These methods have been designed to be as inclusive as possible, with most requiring only low end devices (basic mobile phones with voice calling and SMS capability), allowing interactive learning experiences to be delivered right to the Base of the Pyramid.

In addition to the methods, an overview of mobile learning is included in the beginning of the guidebook and a set of practical tools that allow the methods to be immediately put into practice.

The Mobile Learning Toolkit was developed by the young designer Jenni Parker as part of her master thesis on Mobile Learning for Africa and during her internship with the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ITC‐ILO) of the United Nations in Italy (with some additional support by Experientia).

As well as a general guide, the toolkit includes recommendations for customising the methods for the delivery of a specific training course called “my.coop”, a programme currently being launched by the International Labour Organization to teach the principles of managing agricultural cooperatives in developing regions worldwide.

However, the Mobile Learning Toolkit has been designed to have a value not only within the context of this training programme, but for use in the delivery of all kinds of training within any developing context. Anyone can pick up the toolkit and be inspired to use mobile learning.

The toolkit is an open source resource that can be downloaded for free at http://jenniferparker.posterous.com/mobile-learning-toolkit.

29 July 2011

Digital fluency: empowering all students

Leave nothing unheard
Liz Losh writes on DMLCentral on an inclusive and interdisciplinary approach to “digital literacy” that is more in keeping with the latest thinking about “digital fluency” in the field

“Although “digital literacy” is often a phrase associated with programs that have utopian pedagogical visions, it also can become a term attached to rigid curricular requirements, standardized testing, and models of education that stigmatize some students as remedial when it comes to their basic programming skills or their abilities to use software productively. Furthermore, the term “digital literacy” can generate conflicts among educators because many different disciplines may claim sole responsibility for providing any needed instruction, as I’ve argued elsewhere. Computer scientists, media scholars, librarians, composition teachers, and digital arts instructors have all made supposedly exclusive claims to design and assess digital literacy programs in both K-12 and higher education environments. In contrast, internationally known mixed reality artist Micha Cárdenas calls for an inclusive and interdisciplinary approach to “digital literacy” that is more in keeping with the latest thinking about “digital fluency” in the field.”

Read article

27 July 2011

The UX of learning

The UX of learning
Learning is a complex process with distinct stages, each with corresponding tasks and emotions. Understanding how users learn can help us design experiences that support the user throughout the entire process.

“Most websites invest the majority of their effort into streamlining the very last stage of this process: the action phase. It’s understandable: businesses make money through conversions. However, the company that best supports the user throughout the entire learning process has the upper hand in converting that loyal user into a paying customer. With that in mind, let’s look at digital solutions to seven learning-oriented tasks.”

Read article

27 July 2011

The future of learning

ben8
New research findings from a global study of education systems suggest that the promise of a hi-tech, high-skills, high-wage future for kids is a fantasy. Does digital media and learning offer a better future, asks Ben Williamson on DMLCentral.

“Since the 1980s there has been an increasing emphasis on educating individuals who are able to constantly update and upgrade their skills to do well in a competitive new economy which relies on new technologies, new ideas, and perpetual innovations. According to this basic model, smart learners will help rescue a nation at risk at the same time as delivering the middle class dream. Much of the work done on integrating new technology into education over the decades since then has been a variation on this basic simplification. The dream of the future embodied in these efforts has been of hi-tech, high-skills, high-wage knowledge work.

However, the promise of hi-tech learning leading to high-skills and high-wage knowledge work has now been found to be broken. [...]

Clearly, the hi-tech, high-skills, high-wage future that has been promised to youth since the 1980s now looks less and less sustainable, besides being ethically dubious in the first place. [...] The vision of hi-tech schooling ought to be queried and debated. [...] Does the digital media and learning field offer an adequate prospectus for what Giroux calls “a future that needs your skills, critical judgment, sense of responsibility, compassion, imagination, and humility”?”

Read article

27 June 2011

Studying interaction design in Switzerland

MAS in IxD
A new master in interaction design will start in September in Switzerland — with some teaching support from Experientia — and a few places are still available.

The MAS in Interaction design at the University of the Applied Sciences and the Arts of Southern Switzerland is a master that combines design, new media, robotics, smart systems and high–tech materials in one study program addressing the realization of projects in which the interaction between the design culture and the technological development allows to generate design driven innovations.

Experientia partner Jan-Christoph Zoels will be teaching at the program.

Others in the teaching staff are Massimo Banzi (Arduino), David Boardman, Massimo Botta (who heads the master), Thomas Brooks, Gianluca Brugnoli, Pier Luigi Capucci, Bill Keays, Marco Mancuso, Luca Mascaro, Alvise Mattozzi, Riccardo Mazza, Fabio Sergio (frog design), Lorenzo Sommaruga, Roberto Vitalini and Fred Voorhorst.

The MAS is a one year program, courses are held in English, and partial scholarships are available upon the evaluation of portfolios and CVs.

14 April 2011

Co-creation research journal

CADI
L’École de design in Nantes, France, has just launched the second issue of their research journal CADI, which focuses on co-creation, cross-disciplining and knowledge transfer. The three core feature articles are:

From art history to industrial design history
Jocelyne Le Boeuf, design historian and director of studies at L’École de design Nantes Atlantique
Jocelyne sheds light on her specialty by referring the major thought movements of which hers has become part over history. She also addresses the current multidisciplinary research trends, and delves deeper into the role that design history plays not only in understanding our material environment, but also in designer practices.

Towards a design driven by modesty and sharing
Gilles Rougon, design manager at Électricité de France (EDF)
Based on ten years in design management at the heart of EDF’s Research and Development division, the article elaborates upon design transversality within a company where the primary product is immaterial.

Sociologists and designers are the geologists of social issues and development
Éloi Le Mouël, sociologist within the design department of RATP, the Paris City Transit Authority
Éloi underlines during an interview the similarities and differences between an anthropological approach with regard to “mobility flows” and the design practice from his standpoint as a researcher in the field of social science.

Download journal (Scribd)

10 April 2011

Book: A new culture of learning

A New Culture of Learning
A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change
by Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown
Publisher: CreateSpace – January, 2011)
Paperback, 140 pages
(Amazon link)

The 21st century is a world in constant change. In A New Culture of Learning, Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown pursue an understanding of how the forces of change, and emerging waves of interest associated with these forces, inspire and invite us to imagine a future of learning that is as powerful as it is optimistic. Their understanding of what constitutes “a new culture of learning” is based on several basic assumptions about the world and how learning occurs:

  • The world is changing faster than ever and our skill sets have a shorter life
  • Understanding play is critical to understanding learning
  • The world is getting more connected that ever before – can that be a resource?
  • In this connected world, mentorship takes on new importance and meaning
  • Challenges we face are multi-faceted requiring systems thinking & socio-technical sensibilities
  • Skills are important but so are mind sets and dispositions
  • Innovation is more important than ever – but turns on our ability to cultivate imagination
  • A new culture of learning needs to leverage social & technical infrastructures in new ways
  • Play is the basis for cultivating imagination and innovation

By exploring play, innovation, and the cultivation of the imagination as cornerstones of learning, the authors create a vision of learning for the future that is achievable, scalable and one that grows along with the technology that fosters it and the people who engage with it. The result is a new form of culture in which knowledge is seen as fluid and evolving, the personal is both enhanced and refined in relation to the collective, and the ability to manage, negotiate and participate in the world is governed by the play of the imagination.

Typically, when we think of culture, we think of an existing, stable entity that changes and evolves over long periods of time. In A New Culture of Learning, Thomas and Brown explore a second sense of culture, one that responds to its surroundings organically. It not only adapts, it integrates change into its process as one of its environmental variables.

The book website contains some of the authors’ talks, including one by John Seely Brown on “Tinkering as a Mode of Knowledge Production”.

6 April 2011

The problem with design education

Donald Norman
University industrial design programs are usually cloistered in schools of art or architecture, and students in such programs are rarely required to study science or technology.

That bothers Don Norman, former head of research at Apple and an advocate of user-friendly design.

Having traditional design skills—in traditional artistic pursuits like drawing and modeling—isn’t enough, he says, because the creators of good products and services also must have a working knowledge of everything from the technical underpinnings of microprocessors and programming to the policy aspects of information security.

Read article

17 March 2011

Social media, internet, technology and museums

Museuma
The New York Times has published no less than eight articles at once on the topic of social media, internet, technology and museums. Note the article about the Arduino!

Speaking digitally about exhibits
Museums around the world now use social media for marketing and development efforts, and to strengthen relationships with visitors.

The spirit of sharing
Social media technology has created new opportunities for museums to create interactivity inside and outside of their walls. [...] While museums have long strived to be welcoming places as well as havens of learning, social media is turning them into virtual community centers.

Four to follow
Several of the people who help lead some of the most innovative museum Web sites found their path serendipitously.

Stopping to gaze and to zoom
The Google Art Project lets users virtually visit museums, and 17 works are on display in super-high resolution for zooming and marveling.

Smithsonian uses social media to expand Its mission
The museums increasingly use the public to help research and add personal touches to history.

An interactive exhibit for about $30
A tiny programmable computer, the Arduino, has brought the price of interactivity down sharply in the last few years for museums and galleries.

Multimedia tour guides on your smartphone
Museums are increasingly using smartphone apps to enhance the experiences of visitors.

Social media as inspiration and canvas
Mining Vimeo, YouTube and Flickr, artists and museums use social sites to provide a direct link to their audiences.

16 March 2011

Faculty openings in design & human engineering at UNIST in Korea

UNIST
In December Experientia signed a five-year research and education collaboration agreement with the Design and Human Engineering School (DHE) of the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) – Korea’s new top university – in a quest to change the way that design is seen and practiced in Korea.

As part of its commitment to have at least 20% of its faculty from outside Korea, the university is now recruiting full time tenure-track faculty in the areas of industrial design (including UX, interaction design and design strategy), human factors, and engineering systems.

Spread the word.

10 January 2011

Arduino The Documentary. How open source hardware became cheap and fun

Arduino
When I was working at Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, I met Massimo Banzi who embarked on an open source hardware initiative which eventually became the very successful Arduino project.

Now, writes the Arduino blog, Rodrigo Calvo, Raúl Díez Alaejos, Gustavo Valera, and the people at Laboral Centro de Arte in Gijon, Spain, have created a video documentary, entitled Arduino The Documentary, that you can view on Vimeo in English and Spanish.

Here is some background by Matthew Humphries published on geek.com:

Open source software has had a major impact on the applications and platforms we all use today. Linux is now a very viable alternative to Windows and Mac OS even for beginner PC users. The Android operating system looks set to dominate on mobile hardware, and more and more software applications are being released for free as open source projects by anyone who can learn to program.

Now the same looks set to happen for hardware. With the development of cheap, easy to use electronics components as part of the Arduino computing platform, it’s becoming much easier to create your own hardware solutions without spending a lot of money.

No longer do we have to leave hardware creation to the large corporations with access to manufacturing plants and skilled workers. Instead, we can spend a few dollars buying an Arduino board, a bunch of components, and start experimenting with the support of a growing online community.

The video above gives you an introduction to what Arduino is and how it has developed since its inception. You come away thinking anything is possible with a bit of learning and a 3D printer, and why not? If software can be free to use, why can’t hardware be free to create and distribute?

The clear message Arduino The Documentary gives out is that we are about to see an explosion of hardware devices that come from bedroom tinkerers and student projects. Not only that, but they have the potential to turn into commercial products that businesses form around and investors flock to. We also have an opportunity to get electronics taught to our kids in schools for very little cost and hopefully start producing the next generation of talented engineers.

9 December 2010

Experientia collaborates with top Korean university

UNIST
Experientia, the international user experience design consultancy, has signed a five-year research and education collaboration agreement with the Design and Human Engineering School (DHE) of the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) – Korea’s new top university – in a quest to change the way that design is seen and practiced in Korea.

UNIST was founded in 2009 in the industrial city of Ulsan, and aims to foster world-class education in science and technology, with top-notch students (top 3% of student intake), faculty (20% foreign), and facilities. All courses are conducted in English. UNIST, which already has a substantial online programme, also aims to be Korea’s first mobile campus: students can watch lectures, get their assignments and track their grades using smartphone apps whenever and wherever they need them.

Traditionally design in Korea has been art-based and offered through art schools. DHE is aiming to change this, by driving global industry collaboration and encouraging a multi-disciplinary approach in research and education. All students have two cross-discipline majors from Integrated Industrial Design, Engineering & Systems Design and Affective & Human Factors Engineering.

The main focus of the Experientia-UNIST/DHE collaboration will be on human-centred design and on applying this powerful innovation approach in the education of future designers and engineers, and in conducting effective applied research projects.

Experientia will support UNIST/DHE in the development of its educational programme, through adding a horizontal user experience driven didactic approach; defining a comprehensive research methods course; contributing specific expertise in areas such as interaction design, interface design and industrial design, amongst others; and organising projects workshops, teacher seminars and summer camps.

Other ideas currently being explored involve student and staff/faculty exchange, co-operation in joint research projects (possibly as part of wider European research initiatives), an in-depth longer-term collaboration on yachting design, and possible joint publications or presentations at international conferences.

In the following months Experientia and UNIST/DHE will work on shaping the specifics of the collaboration agreement through further discussions and project agreements.

Experientia has a long-term commitment to design education and research. Its partners and collaborators have been lecturing and teaching design at important international universities and design schools for many years, including the Academy for Art and Design in Berlin, Germany. Banff New Media Institute (Banff, Canada), Design Center Busan (Busan, South Korea), Domus Academy (Milano, Italy), IED (Torino, Italy), Interaction Design Institute Ivrea (Ivrea, Italy), Jan Van Eyck Academy (Maastricht, Netherlands), Politecnico di Milano (Milan, Italy), Politecnico di Torino (Torino, Italy), Rhode Island School of Design (Providence, RI, USA), Samsungʼs Innovative Design Laboratory (Seoul, South Korea) and Umea – Institute of Design (Umea, Sweden). Experientia has also been involved in several regional and European research projects.

Links:
- Experientia
- UNIST
- Korea Times: UNIST to foster elites in science, tech fields
- Korea Times: Universities’ English-friendly policy has pros and cons
- Joong Ang Daily: Unist aims to be Korea’s first mobile campus

21 November 2010

Growing up digital, wired for distraction

Growing up digital
Matt Richtel reflects in a long New York Times article on the impact of growing up digital. The constant stream of stimuli offered by new technology, he says, poses a profound new challenge to focusing and learning.

“Students have always faced distractions and time-wasters. But computers and cellphones, and the constant stream of stimuli they offer, pose a profound new challenge to focusing and learning.

Researchers say the lure of these technologies, while it affects adults too, is particularly powerful for young people. The risk, they say, is that developing brains can become more easily habituated than adult brains to constantly switching tasks — and less able to sustain attention.”

Read article

> Related:

  • Students and technology, constant companions (audio and video)
    At Woodside High in Woodside, Calif., students are immersed in personal technology, complicating the job of those responsible for their education. Hear five students talk about their relationship with technology, and watch a video about the school.
     
  • Teachers’ views on technology in the classroom
    The Times asked teachers to submit videos on how the use of technology has changed the way they teach.
     
  • Achieving a healthful digital diet
    Experts suggest that half of a child’s computer time should be educational and that multitasking while studying should be limited.
20 November 2010

How college students evaluate and use information in the digital age

PIL
Project Information Literacy (PIL) is ongoing research project, based in the University of Washington’s Information School, that collects data from early adults enrolled in US colleges and universities, to understand how they conceptualize and operationalize research activities for course work and “everyday life” use and especially how they resolve issues of credibility, authority, relevance, and currency in the digital age.

A new progress report entitled “Truth Be Told: How College Students Evaluate and Use Information in the Digital Age,” explores the current state of the project.

Abstract
A report about college students and their information-seeking strategies and research difficulties, including findings from 8,353 survey respondents from college students on 25 campuses distributed across the U.S. in spring of 2010, as part of Project Information Literacy. Respondents reported taking little at face value and were frequent evaluators of Web and library sources used for course work, and to a lesser extent, of Web content for personal use. Most respondents turned to friends and family when asking for help with evaluating information for personal use and instructors when evaluating information for course research. Respondents reported using a repertoire of research techniques—mostly for writing papers—for completing one research assignment to the next, though few respondents reported using Web 2.0 applications for collaborating on assignments. Even though most respondents considered themselves adept at finding and evaluating information, especially when it was retrieved from the Web, students reported difficulties getting started with research assignments and determining the nature and scope of what was required of them. Overall, the findings suggest students use an information-seeking and research strategy driven by efficiency and predictability for managing and controlling all of the information available to them on college campuses, though conducting comprehensive research and learning something new is important to most, along with passing the course and the grade received. Recommendations are included for how campus-wide stakeholders—faculty, librarians, and higher education administrators—can work together to help inform pedagogies for a new century.

Download report

16 October 2010

Interactions and sustainability at the RCA, London

Design Interactions Research
Some great news from the RCA this week:

Design Interactions Research
The Design Interactions program at the Royal College of Art, led by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby, has launched a brand new research site, showcasing projects done by tutors, research fellows and research associates over the last few years. As well as working on applied research exploring themes and topics developed with external partners funded through a mixture of research council, European Union, cultural, academic and industrial organisations, Interactions at RCA is working towards establishing a theoretical framework for conceptual, critical and speculative design practices in relation to science and technology.

“What happens when you decouple design from the marketplace, when rather than making technology sexy, easy to use and more consumable, designers use the language of design to pose questions, inspire, and provoke — to transport our imaginations into parallel but possible worlds?

Our research explores new ways design can make technology more meaningful and relevant to our lives, both now, and in the future, by thinking not only about new applications but implications as well.

It focusses on exploring interactions between people, science and technology on many different levels. We’re concerned not only with the expressive, functional and communicative possibilities of new technologies but also with the social, cultural and ethical consequences of living within an increasingly technologically mediated society.

We do this through design-led research projects which are disseminated internationally through exhibitions, publications and conferences. Our research is funded through a mixture of research council, EU, cultural, academic and industrial organisations.

As well as working on applied research exploring themes and topics developed with external partners, we are working towards establishing a theoretical framework for conceptual, critical and speculative design practices in relation to science and technology.”

The challenges of teaching sustainability
The RCA’s Approach, by Clare Brass and Octavia Reeve (on Core77)

“It is normally taken for granted that economic growth is vital for maintaining economic health, but research has shown that wellbeing depends less on material goods than on our lifestyles. The New Economics Foundation in the UK publishes a global Happy Planet Index, which measures the combination of environmental impact and wellbeing, to quantify the environmental efficiency with which—country by country—people live long and happy lives.

So what can we as educators do to enhance those valuable skills that designers have and get them using those skills to redesign not only the products that we buy but also the lifestyles that we live and the systems that organise our lives, making them better for people? Design education needs to position itself in such a way that designers are trained to design good customer experiences with the lowest possible environmental impact. “

29 September 2010

In study, children cite appeal of digital reading

Scholastic
Many children want to read books on digital devices, while parents worry that technology will distract young bookworms, according to a survey by the publisher Scholastic. The New York Times reports:

“Many children want to read books on digital devices and would read for fun more frequently if they could obtain e-books. But even if they had that access, two-thirds of them would not want to give up their traditional print books.

These are a few of the findings in a study being released on Wednesday by Scholastic, the American publisher of the Harry Potter books and the “Hunger Games” trilogy.

The report set out to explore the attitudes and behaviors of parents and children toward reading books for fun in a digital age. Scholastic surveyed more than 2,000 children ages 6 to 17, and their parents, in the spring.”

Read article

24 September 2010

Videos of Stanford’s HCI seminar

Stanford University
Below are the 2010 videos of the Human-Computer Interaction Seminar at Stanford University. Check also the full playlist.

Redesigning the programming experience
(May 28, 2010) Joel Brandt, a PhD candidate in the Stanford Human-Computer Interaction Group, discusses the roles that online resources play in creating software and examines the emerging class of “opportunistic” programmers out there today.

Interdisciplinary design for services, systems, and beyond
(May 21, 2010) Jodi Forlizzi, Associate Professor of Design and Human-Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon University, discusses two insights that she has learned from bringing design to human computer interaction research and development. Professor Forlizzi uses examples from her work and the work of her lab to show the benefits of these insights.

How we think with bodies and things
(May 7, 2010) David Kirsh, Professor of Cognitive Science at University of California-San Diego, discusses the concept of enactive thought and provides data from extensive ethnographic studies and a few simple experiments to prove that it exists.

Lifelong kindergarten: design, play, share, learn
(April 30, 2010) Mitch Resnick, Professor of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab, discusses and demonstrates how new technologies can help extend kindergarten-style learning to people of all ages, enabling everyone to learn through designing, playing, and sharing.

Designing stuff: lame gods in the service of prosthetic gods
(April 16, 2010) Harold G. Nelson, Professor of Design at Carnegie Mellon University, discusses the importance of understanding the nature of designing (agency), designers (lame gods), and designs (prosthetic gods).

The green machine
(April 2, 2010) Aaron Marcus, of Aaron Marcus and Associates, discusses how his company is leveraging mobile phone applications and their user interfaces to persuade people to save home energy usage by combining information design and persuasion design.

Anthropomorphic interfaces for the underserved
(March 12, 2010) Timothy Bickmore, Professor at Northeastern University, discusses his research with a virtual nurse that helps patients understand their medical conditions and medications when they are discharged from a hospital.

Representing earth
(March 5, 2010) Michael Naimark discusses the technologies of web applications that use photos and video to document the Earth.

Interactive art and social meaning
(February 26, 2010) Peggy Weil, adjunct professor of design at the California College of Arts, discusses the incorporation of interaction design and virtual reality into the human experience.

Driving user behavior with game dynamics
(February 19, 2010) Rajat Paharia, founder and Chief Production Officer of Bunchball, discusses participation engines and the use of game dynamics and behavioral economics to incentivize and motivate user participation on the web.

How multiplayer games will change the future of work
(February 22, 2010) Leighton Read, high-tech investor, entrepreneur, and CEO of Seriosity Inc. and Alloy Ventures discusses how multiplayer game will change the future of work.

Speaking versus typing
(February 5, 2010) Maryam Garrett and Mike Cohen of Google discuss speech and typing search functions dependent upon phone type and most particularly voice search on smart phones.

The anti-ergonomy of instruments of interaction
(January 29, 2010) Adrian Freed, from UC Berkeley Center for New Music and Audio Techniques, discusses music, technology and computing and his research on intriguing new interactions within these systems.

Following #twitter
(January 22, 2010) Vik Singh, from Yahoo!, discusses his research on how search connects to real time, and how this may change the interactive space on the web.

How prototyping practices affect design results
(January 15, 2010) Steven P. Dow of the Stanford Human-Computer Interaction Group discusses his research on how prototyping practices affect learning, motivation, communication, and outcome in design. To help answer this question, he has developed creative problem-solving tasks, such as an advertisement design task where design creations are to be compared through ad campaign performance analytics.

Designing a unified experience
(January 8, 2010) Kim Goodwin, a Cooper Designer, discusses persona based research models for product development and recommends that design teams collaborate interactively from ideation in order to produce a more end-user friendly product.

21 August 2010

If technology is making us stupid, it’s not technology’s fault

Kids and computers
There has been growing concern that computers have failed to live up to the promise of improving learning for school kids. The New York Times, The Washington Post, and PBS have all done stories recently calling into question the benefits of computers in schools. But, says David Theo Goldberg in a sophisticated article on DMLcentral, when computers fail kids, it’s too easy to blame the technology.

“Unlike television, and perhaps more like automobiles, computers are far from passive consumptive technologies. They enable, if not encourage, interactive engagement, creativity, and participatory interaction with others. The interaction can assume various forms, not all productive. Yet like the appealing impacts of both television and automobile access for youth, the productive and creative capacities of computing technology for ordinary users are staggering. The question then is not the false dilemma between unqualified good and evil, but how best to enable the productive learning possibilities of new digital technologies.”

Read article

21 August 2010

Information seeking behaviour of Generation Y doctoral students

Graduate student
Emerging findings from the first annual report of a major three-year study into the information seeking behaviour of Generation Y doctoral students show that there are striking similarities between students born between 1982 and 1994 and older age groups.

The first annual report of this longitudinal study, commissioned by JISC and the British Library, and conducted by Researchers of Tomorrow, has just been completed and includes evidence-gathering from three groups of doctoral students in the UK, including: a cohort of 60 Generation Y doctoral students from 36 universities; responses to a national context-setting survey returned by over 2,000 Generation Y scholars and responses to the same national context-setting survey returned by 3,000 older doctoral students.

Generation Y students and older students concur on a number of areas:

Open access and open source
Like students of other ages, Generation Y researchers express a desire for an all-embracing, seamless accessible research information network in which restrictions to access does not restrain them. However, the annual report demonstrates that most Generation Y students do not have a clear understanding of what open access means and this negatively impacts their use of open access resources, so this is an area to be followed up in the next year.

Networked research environment
Both Generation Y and older students express exasperation regarding restricted access to research resources due to the limitations of institutional licenses. This is born from a sophisticated knowledge of the networked information environment and students regularly speak favourably about sector-wide shared services and resource sharing.
The research indicates, however, potentially interesting and important divergences between Generation Y and older doctoral students; for example, where students turn for help, advice and support and attitudes to their research environment.

Supervisor and librarian support
Generation Y scholars are more likely to turn to their supervisors for research resource recommendations than older doctoral students. Also, 33% of Generation Y students say they have never used library staff for their support in finding difficult to source material.

Using library collections and services
Library collections are used heavily by students in their own institutions, but only 36% of Generation Y students have used inter-library loan services compared to 25% of older students, with 42% of arts and humanities students using these services regularly compared to 13% among science students.

Read article