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Key Word in Context Finder. A Concordance Tool for Online Learning and Research William H. Fletcher United States Naval Academy Paper presented at the annual meeting of EuroCALL, University of Abertay Dundee, Scotland, 31 August – 2 September 2000.

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key word in context finder

Key Word in Context Finder

A Concordance Tool for Online Learning and Research

William H. Fletcher

United States Naval Academy

Paper presented at the annual meeting of EuroCALL, University of Abertay Dundee, Scotland, 31 August – 2 September 2000.

information overload
Information Overload

Increasing information access

has led to information excess

leaving us no time to process the information we do access.

infoage paradox
InfoAge Paradox

The more information we have,

the less we seem to be able to do with it.

infoage writer s block
InfoAge Writer’s Block

Any intellectual property yet, honey?

what does the future hold for our students
What does the future hold for our students?

Actually I’m hoping that what I grow up to be hasn’t been invented yet.

the purpose of an education
The Purpose of an Education

To learn to distinguish

Sense from Nonsense

The details change, but the principles remain the same.

help turn the information age into the knowledge age
Help turn the Information Age into theKnowledge Age
  • Raw Bits into Information
  • Information into Knowledge
the fairness principle
The FAIRness Principle
  • Find information
  • Assess its relevance, significance, and reliability
  • Integrate it into one’s knowledge base
  • Retrieve it efficiently
isn t the web wonderful
Isn’t the Web wonderful?

The Dream…

With so much information at their fingertips, students will attain new levels of insight and synthesis

The Reality…

Random Cut & Paste (with attribution?) replaces original research and creativity

isn t the web wonderful1
Isn’t the Web wonderful?

The Dream…

Instant access to authentic materials from around the globe

The Reality…

World Wide Wait + World Wide Haystack = World Wide Frustration

isn t the web wonderful2
Isn’t the Web wonderful?

The Dream…

With so many powerful Search Engines it should be easy to find appropriate materials online

The Reality…

Search Engines are designed to optimize the number, not the relevance of hits

kwicfinder purpose
KWiCFinder – Purpose

A research tool to…

  • help formulate and focus queries
  • automatically retrieve and excerpt documents matching the search criteria

A search produces a Key Word in Context concordance of the documents analyzed

kwicfinder genesis
KWiCFinder – Genesis

KWiCFinder was motivated by…

  • observation of and discussions with students and colleagues conducting online searches
  • my own frustration with the inordinate effort required to find suitable content for instructional materials and research
kwicfinder altavista
KWiCFinder – AltaVista

KWiCFinder uses the AltaVista search engine

  • Largest corpus indexed – claims 340 MDocs
  • Useful features for highly-specific searches
  • World-wide coverage; Specify language
  • Distinguishes case and special characters
  • Best documentation of how Boolean and other criteria are implemented
  • No stopwords excluded from index
kwicfinder enhancements
KWiCFinder Enhancements

Offers significant enhancements to AltaVista for foreign languages:

  • Intuitive approach to special char input
  • Tamecards greatly increase query specificity with limited user overhead
  • point-and-click inclusion of countries, date ranges, domains etc. for search criteria not included in report
more kwicfinder enhancements
More KWiCFinder Enhancements
  • AltaVista supports NEAR, i.e. two search terms must occur within 10 words of each other
  • KWiCFinder adds BEFORE and AFTER, and allows the user to specify up to how many words apart
kwicfinder sic option
KWiCFinder – “Sic” Option

AltaVista Wildcards – Implicit

  • Any plain char matches all corresponding chars with diacritics
  • Any lower-case chars matches corresponding UPPER-CASE as well

- continuo always matches continuo, continúo, continuó

  • fahrt always matches fahrt, Fahrt, fährt

KWiCFinder offers a “sic” option to block these built-in wildcards when desired

kwicfinder wildcards
KWiCFinder – Wildcards

AltaVista Wildcards – Explicit

* (asterisk) matches 0-5 chars; must be preceded by 3 chars minimum

KWiCFinder adds

% (percent) matches 0-1 chars

? matches 1 char

kwicfinder additional wildcards
KWiCFinder Additional Wildcards

KWiCFinder Wildcards – Implicit

  • Apostrophe ’ and hyphen - match forms with these marks, space, or no space

- (ich) hab’s matches hab’s and habs

- on-line matches on-line, on line, online

  • co-operate matches co-operate, cooperate, coöperate
kwicfinder tamecards
KWiCFinder Tamecards
  • Wildcards return any sequence of n chars
  • Tamecards match only those combinations of chars specified by the user.
kwicfinder latest innovations
KWiCFinder – Latest Innovations

XML report format provides for…

  • Changing report language or format without new search
  • Annotating, classifying, and deleting citations or documents
  • Merging search reports or extracting subsets of them
kwicfinder current status
KWiCFinder – Current Status
  • Download for free at http://miniappolis.com/KWiCFinder/
  • Auto-update keeps up with changes in AV search engine and KF program
  • Caveats and Limitations
  • still beta software, subject to bugs and changes
  • observe system requirements (Win 9x, technical specs, IE 5+; NT/2000??)
  • “emerging” documentation
the web is my corpus i shall not want
The Web is My Corpus,I Shall Not Want…
  • I shall not want for material
  • Numerous documents can be found on-line in almost any language
  • I shall not want for challenges
  • Formulate a query that yields optimally useful results
  • Determine which documents are reliable and representive in form and content
kwicfinder as a teaching and learning tool
KWiCFinder as a Teaching and Learning Tool
  • Micro / Form Level
  • Lexical – word use, vocabulary discovery and verification, collocates, lexical functions
  • Grammatical – examples of forms and structures in context
  • Macro / Content Level
  • Assess usefulness (relevance, accessibility) of many documents quickly and efficiently
preparing learners to use kwicfinder
Preparing Learners To Use KWiCFinder
  • Pre-Search Organizer
  • What words or phrases do you need to see in context? Which are essential? Which are alternatives?
  • What other factors (country, date, other terms) might help narrow your search?
  • Post-Search Evaluation
  • Documents chosen – Why? Contribution?
  • Documents rejected – Why?
limitations
Limitations

KWiCFinder is only as good as the Search Engine it uses. Spurious hits result because…

  • AV is not always current due to “link rot” and changed pages
  • Documents returned by a general search on AV may not meet the more-specific criteria submitted to KWiCFinder