“Web 2.0 in ten Minutes” and “Wikis for a Business unit”

Gave two talks yesterday.

The new ITAG (IT advisory group) meets once a month for lunch and an informal catch up on various matters at 0ur institution.  They invited me in to speak about web 2.0 and benefits (And a guy from the web team to talk for 10 minutes about the other side)

On the TALO list from Kylie:

It looks like a bit too much to cover in ten mins (8 topics, 1minute and a bit for each??).

One of the issues with presenting stuff about flexible/online learning, is newbies get overwhelmed, and their heads spin. that can turn some folks off.  <snip>

Also, provide a list of links covered in your talk. Almost every time I present these intro style sessions for staff, they want all your links.
Better still, just link them to a delicious page with all your links – leading by best practice.

Kylie was right of course.  There was a question “Could I provide links”.  I will of course.  I thought I had headed off this query with a brief description of Delicious.
It was a good session, (9.45 min), and yes, Kylie was right about ‘too much’ – but that’s life.  I know what I’d like to do with Blogs (WP MU or roll your own) plus nice simple aggregators.  But I still don’t know what to do about wikis.

I feel like the geeks have let me down a bit.  Here’s a story:

In 1998 I was conducting some research on lectures.  Videoing lectures, principally in Physics (but also maths) doing their thing explaining stuff.  Often they would miss out on a vital step – or gloss over it so quickly we would miss it.

Previous research has demonstrated that physics experts categorize physics problems by the principles used to solve them; whereas, many physics novices tend to categorize physics problems by surface-feature similarity. This current study sought to find differences between physics experts and novices on a memory test of physics pictures. research.physics.uiuc.edu/PER/

There were a lot of articles published in the last few years of last century.  For example:

“Understanding and teaching problem solving in physics,” J. H. Larkin and F. Reif, Eur. J. Sci. Educ. 1:2,191-203 (1979). From a case study comparing the problem-solving approaches of an expert and a (good) novice problem solver, the authors identify critical elements needed for expert problem solving. An instructional strategy is described for teaching novices to take a more qualitative, global approach.

“Categorization and representation of physics problems by experts and novices,” M. T. H. Chi, P. J. Feltovich and R. Glaser, Cognitive Science 5, 121-152 (1981).
This study identified differences in the ways that experts and novices solve physics problems. It was found that experts categorized problems according to “deep structure,”while novices tended to categorize according to surface features.

“How novice physics students deal with explanations,” J. S. Touger, R. J. Dufresne, W. J Gerace, P. T. Hardiman, and J. P. Mestre, Int. J. Sci. Educ. 17:2, 255-269 (1995). Introductory physics students were asked to explain open-ended problem situations and to select which of a variety of types of explanations they preferred. Their recognition of appropriate concepts was highly situation dependent. They were frequently unable to interpret explanations given in everyday terms.

ASIDE: Sorry for the lack of links.  I will need to see if I can remedy this.  Work I was familiar with 10 years ago and resides in my pile of papers has yet to appear on the net in an easily Googled format.  I must see if I can track it down.

Suffice to say: novices and experts are different.  I videoed people giving nearly adequate descriptions.  NEARLY.  Vital pieces, thinking tools, attitudes, shortcuts were just not there in the final explanation.  Had a lot of fun.  I went to Dunedin for some PD at some stage, virgin territory – and even then, going over some of the research – we all still did it.  Explain with mental leaps.  What is so obvious to an expert is NOT to a novice. Teaching with some of these expert strategies in mind has proved to improved results.  (But not a lot of physics lecturers read education research sadly)

Wiki experts gloss over a lot also.  :-)

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