Using blogs to support reflective practice in hci
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Using blogs to support reflective practice in HCI. Russell Beale Advanced Interaction Group School of Computer Science University of Birmingham [email protected] What are blogs?. “wild, random, unconstrained ramblings” “self-obsessive diaries”

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Using blogs to support reflective practice in HCI

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Using blogs to support reflective practice in hci

Using blogs to support reflective practice in HCI

Russell Beale

Advanced Interaction Group

School of Computer Science

University of Birmingham

[email protected]


What are blogs

What are blogs?

  • “wild, random, unconstrained ramblings”

  • “self-obsessive diaries”

  • Chronologically ordered postings on a web page

    • Mainly text, a few images, and links to other pages


Blog usage

Blog usage

  • Format supports stream-of-consciousness thinking

  • Supports commentary - linking to articles etc.

  • Rapid, easy to share, fits with fragmented working patterns


Example

Standard entry - dated, text, small photo

syndication

Web

tools

Easy link to external

sites

links

History

of

posts

Example


Reflective practice

Reflective practice

After Kolb 1984


Our hci course

Our HCI course

  • 2nd year CS, SE, CSBM course, ~180 students

  • Broad ranging across many areas of technology, society, tools and techniques

  • Aims to teach an HCI-aware mode of thinking, & an awareness that tools and techniques exist


Approach

Approach

  • Web-based resources

  • Lectures discursive, discussive, motivational

  • Directed learning via reading, group exercises, group research and presentations, etc.


Adding reflection

Adding reflection

  • If can get students to think about what they are looking at and why, then we have achieved goals

  • Use blogs to encourage reflection

  • Get groups of 5 to co-write a blog, discussing anything to do with HCI they have come across at least once a week


Example blog entries

Example blog entries

  • “Kick the stupid machine Fast service, easy to use. You simply put a coin in the machine and make your selection. No need for running to a store to get what you want. You have the solution just next to you. Chocolates, crisps, soft-drinks, condoms. Anything you need, whenever you need it. But I still HATE these machines, both for technical and psychological reasons.To be honest the first time I tried to use one was a few months ago. I don’t know why, I guess I just never needed to use one before. Anyway, the first experience I had with a vending machine it was quite 'painful'. I wanted a coke, so I went near the machine and put some coins in it, without bothering reading the instructions and pressed my selection. And here we go….”

  • What's the measure of well design print media? What is the measure of well designed print media? Is it Appropriateness? Beauty?One can claim that it is all and none of the above. The trouble with print media is that it is extremely difficult to turn a set of words and ideas into a physical object that will express them effectively, or at least, as the market will bear it to do.

  • Advertising!Whilst reading Jat’s post about the interface of rss I began to think of why rss might not have become hugely popular. Just because it is new is a valid reason but it isn’t enough. Jat went on to say that simplicity is the key when it comes to accessing rss updates from sites. But I think I disagree with some of this.Take MSN Messenger for instance. This has become hugely popular as means of communicating with others via the web. I feel that its interface is great for its purpose and there are a lot of other things you can do with it. It also notifies you when there is a person that wants to chat to you. It can be kept on 24 hours a day and people feel safe to use it.


Usage

Usage

  • 39 blogs

  • Used all term

  • 2 continued on afterwards

  • Many blogged more than once a week

  • A few hardly blogged at all


Topics

Topics

  • Personal experiences

  • External site commentary

  • Other bloggers postings

  • ‘Given topic’

    • A subversion of the pedagogy - used the blog as repository for information on a topic they had to research


Reflections

Reflections

  • Those students who ‘got’ HCI loved it

  • Those who didn’t, didn’t really see the point

    • But it makes sharing and assessing group work much easier!

  • Improved their integration of HCI with outer course material and the real world

    • As evidenced by posting materials


Developments

Developments

  • Full analysis still ongoing

  • But successful enough in second year course to be incorporated into a new final year course


Advanced hci course

Advanced HCI Course

  • Much better acceptance of blogging

  • Higher quantity and quality of postings

  • More mature attitudes of students clear

    • Much more able to take responsibility for their own learning

    • Saw the benefits of reflection

    • Worked harder on it


Summary

Summary

  • Useful tool to encourage reflective practice and support directed learning and other web-based resources

  • Better for more educationally mature students

  • Good tool for sharing group knowledge

  • Trendy, cool - acts as motivation to many students

  • Ideal if could share across Universities/countries…..


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