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Adaptive Systems: Bridging the Gap UCLA/Pacific Bell Initiative for 21st Century Literacies. Howard Besser UCLA School of Education & Information Outline. The Various Disparities The UCLA/Pacbell Initiative

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Adaptive systems bridging the gap ucla pacific bell initiative for 21st century literacies l.jpg

Adaptive Systems: Bridging the GapUCLA/Pacific Bell Initiative for 21st Century Literacies

Howard Besser

UCLA School of Education & Information

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  • The Various Disparities

  • The UCLA/Pacbell Initiative

    • Adaptive Systems

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The Various Disparities

  • Technology (including closeness, versions, and bandwidth)

  • Access to Content-

  • Intelligent & Effective Use-

    • info lit

    • discovery vs. consumption

    • delivery systems geared to users with a particular bkgrnd & capability

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Access to Contentmajor issues

  • Licensing and the effect on walk-ins

  • Authentication systems and granularity

  • IP restrictions

  • “Best-sellers” will be first digitized and easiest to obtain

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Access to Contentmajor implications

  • Favoring of content that is most easily accessible

  • Economics will favor organizations with more resources for digitizing, metadata creation, aggregation, user interfaces

  • Users will favor particular content sources

    • won’t search lots of diff sources if can’t use the images seamlessly

  • Easily accessible info will get used often, while hard to access info will be marginalized

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UCLA/Pacific Bell Initiative for 21st Century Literacies-

  • The Problem and Issues

  • Project Dates & Staff

  • The User

  • Summit

  • Policy

  • Design Issues & Adaptive Systems

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21st Century Literacies

  • Information Literacy

  • Visual Literacy

  • Media Literacy

  • Cultural Literacy

  • ...

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The Problem and Issues

  • If we solve Access Problem (technology, bandwidth, training), other impediments to an informed citizenry still remain

  • Need critical evaluation of resources (reliability, authoritativeness, thoroughness, recency)

  • Need skills to pare down from information overload

  • Need critical thinking skills

  • Need to deal with different users having different backgrounds and capabilities

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Project Dates & Staff

  • Summer 2000-Dec 2001

  • $1 million

  • Co-Directed by Aimée Dorr and Howard Besser

  • October 21, 2000 Summit (planning involved 20 people from Pacbell & UCLA)

  • Rest of project primarily UCLA

  • Coordinator Sheila Afnan-Manns (

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The User

  • Evaluative bibliography of literature and projects

  • Analysis of what we know thusfar from several different perspectives (curriculum design, library services, critical theory, information retrieval, user-centered design, …)

  • Examining model curriculum

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Summit (1/2)Oct 21, 2000

  • Bring widespread attention to the underlying issues

  • 360 professionals from education, librarianship, public policy, and industry

    • 15% Higher Ed faculty, administrators, librarians

    • 28% K-12 teachers, principals, superintendents

    • 14% public and K-12 librarians

    • 33% future practitioners, policy makers, librarians, educators

    • 8% business community

    • 3% government (governor’s office, state dept of Educ, …)

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Summit (2/2)Oct 21, 2000

  • Snappy video to highlight the problems (25 unsolicited requests to show video in 1st month after Summit)

  • Over 2 dozen exhibits and poster sessions explaining related projects throughout the country

  • Guest speakers (Alan Kay, Marcia Bates, Pat Breivik, Kathleen Tyner, Anna Deavere Smith, Tal Finney)

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  • information literacy standards

  • issues related to the "Digital Divide”

  • privacy and ownership concerns

  • ...

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Design Issues

  • Examine factors that inhibit efficient and effective use of an information system

  • Examine how best to design systems to match the literacy levels, technological capabilities, and other characteristics of the user

  • Principles, Practices, and Guidelines for Good Design for Facilitating Access (screen design, searching & navigation, metadata & description, info structures & organization, usability testing, …)

  • Build Adaptive Systems-

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Good Design Principles

  • Promote good design practices throughout the Design community

  • Get the Design community to sign on to a set of Principles for Good Design-

  • Create Guides & Best Practices Documents-

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Possible Good Design Principles

  • Don’t disenfranchise users who have slow processors, older browsers, low bandwidth, visual impairment, etc.

  • Clearly note the recency of any information resource

  • Make sure that a user can easily determine what organization/agency created or contributed to an information resource

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Important Dimensions toGood Design Principles

  • screen design

  • searching & navigation

  • metadata & description

  • info structures & organization

  • usability testing

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Our Resources related toGood Design Principles

  • Screen Design - The visual design of the screen can impact usability. Color, font, the use of images, and layout of screen elements are essential design components.

  • Searching and Navigation - Ease of navigation and search/browsing options are critical components of usability.

  • Metadata and Description - Good metadata and site description will help users find the appropriate website.

  • Information Structures and Organization - How information is organized and categorized shapes access. For systems with an underlying searchable database, the structure of the database itself will determine the outcome of searches.

  • Usability Testing - Includes resources on how to evaluate sites and on testing for usability.

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Build Adaptive Systems

  • Build Systems that adapt the same back-end information to different user profiles (different knowledge bases, different technical capabilities, different cognitive structures)

  • User profiles may include advanced researcher in a particular subject area, general undergraduate student, high school student, …

  • Different profiles will need different user interfaces, navigation, searching vocabulary, file formats and sizes, ...

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  • Design

  • User Interface

  • Navigation

  • Browse

  • Search

  • Efficient bandwidth use

User Profiles

Combination of dimensions and purpose

  • Content

  • Mark-up

  • Various metadata

  • Protection features

knowledge base

Technological capibilities

  • Design functional examples

  • Differing screen arrangements

  • Differing functional options

  • Vocabulary mapping

  • Diminishing image size




  • Purpose

  • Casual user

  • K12 student, lifelong learner

  • Information/hobby

  • Scholar/preservation

  • Business

  • (Colorado Dig Proj)

  • Cultural tourist

  • Casual user

  • Scholar

  • (CIMI)

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Adaptive Systemswhat they’ll do

  • Can serve different audiences (general public, purposeful inquirer [cultural tourist], domain specialist)

  • Each profile audience will

    • see a level of discourse addressed to them

    • experience a user interface appropriate to their profile

    • use vocabulary they are familiar with

  • Yet all will be using the same back-end set of information

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Adaptive Systemshow they’ll work

  • Passing search terms through a thesaurus to map specialist vocabulary to/from vernacular

  • Adapting vocabulary from curatorial language into common discourse; development of markup extensions to EAD/CIMI/CIDOC to allow description for different audiences

  • In general, specialized users will experience more text-based interfaces, while general users will experience more graphic/visual interfaces

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Adaptive Systemsdevelopment plan

  • Research and experimentation

  • Profile 5-10 different user communities

  • Mechanize 2-3 different information delivery systems

  • Demonstrate the utility of this approach (proof of concept) for further research and design

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What does this all mean forInfo Professionals?

  • Good set of Design Guidelines

  • Feasibility of Adaptive Systems that deliver the same back-end info tailored to different sets of user needs

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Adaptive Systems: Bridging the GapUCLA/Pacific Bell Initiative for 21st Century Literacies

Howard Besser

UCLA School of Education & Information

The Shape of the 21st Century Library, in Milton Wolf et. al. (eds.), Information Imagineering: Meeting at the Interface, Chicago: American Library Association, 1998 pages 133-146

From Internet to Information Superhighway, in James Brook and Iain A. Boal (eds.), Resisting the Virtual Life: The Culture and Politics of Information, San Francisco: City Lights, 1995, pages 59-70