HCI-CSCL: Welcome Page

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Contents

Welcome

  • Welcome to what I hope will be an exciting adventure in interaction design!
  • We will be using an excellent textbook that has just been revised and up-dated. Each chapter of the textbook contains an overview at the beginning and end, so there is no need to use class time to summarize the text. You will maintain your personal journal of the textbook chapters to reflect on them from your own perspective.
  • We will collaboratively create a Wikipedia-like site on the topic of “A Vision of CSCL Support for the CSCL Research Community.” This will be used over the summer by the research community to begin to implement support for their online interaction.
  • We will be gaining hands-on experience with interaction design by tackling very challenging design problems -- that no one knows how to do well now, but that many people will want to do in the future. This includes problems of supporting social networking for collaborative knowledge building. "Social networking" has become popular in the press as the "next big thing" on the Internet. Although it seems to have tremendous potential for online education, existing examples have serious problems and are little oriented toward serious learning. "Knowledge building" is, one can say, the way that learning and work will largely take place in the future in our global knowledge society. As our example, we will focus on how to design software systems to support an international research community concerned with online collaborative knowledge building.
  • Nan, Murat and Gerry conduct their research at the Virtual Math Teams (VMT) research project. We have already published a number of papers related to online education (Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning or CSCL) and to the VMT project. You will be reading some of these in the course. These readings will take the place of traditional classroom, PowerPoint or videotaped lectures. As researchers in CSCL, we will serve as your users for your design project; feel free to ask us questions about your design ideas.
  • The course will be conducted very collaboratively, relying heavily on group efforts, in the spirit of CSCL. The course will likely be different from anything you have experienced before. Be patient: it may take a while to understand what is going on. (Learning in the future will not be like it was in the past.) In particular, the course will engage in blended learning, combining online and in-class interaction, mixing undergraduate and graduate students, and combining computer science and library science majors.
  • This quarter, we are using wiki technology heavily, because it seems like a potentially good medium for knowledge-building social interaction -- although it needs a lot more functionality. The course will take place primarily in this wiki -- with synchronous sessions taking place in the VMT chat environment.
  • The course structure, readings, schedule, requirements, grading, etc. are described in the HCI-CSCL: Course Overview. That is a good place to start to find out about the course.

Week Zero - start up

  • Congratulations, you have reached the course wiki, where a lot of the course activity will be taking place. In one way of thinking about the course, the whole aim of the course is to develop (through the social interaction of you with the other students in the class) this set of wiki pages into an interesting hyper-document about designing social interaction software.
  • The first thing you should do -- if you have not already done it -- is to go to the course Blackboard site and fill in the Questionnaire there. We need this information in order to place you in a project group that will work well for you. Go to http://drexel.blackboard.com and log in (you should have received an email about how to do this.) Go to the 2007-08 Spring course on HCI. Click on the "Course Materials" button and then on the link to the "Personal Skills Inventory at Beginning of Quarter." Complete this questionnaire as completely as you can without looking anything up. The purpose of the Questionnaire is to help us match you with other students for your online group work (it will not be used for grading).
  • You should also register in the VMT chat room system at - http://vmt.mathforum.org/VMTLobby/ - Select a user name that you want to be known as in the course -- e.g., your first name or a nickname. Your user name and password will be the same in the chat room system and in the wiki. Enter a password and your preferred email address. Make sure that you are in Project: HCI2008.
  • You should log into the wiki (a Log In link is in the upper right corner of your browser). You should always be logged in when you write anything in the wiki. Then you can sign what you write and time-stamp it by putting four tildes (~) at the end of your message.
  • You will be in the VMT Lobby, which lists all available chat rooms and provides some additional functionality, such as defining your profile for other to read about you. You can look around the Lobby and then go to the HCI Sandbox. This is a sample chat room for you to play with the special functionality of the whiteboard. The Topic tab gives you some suggestions for things to try.
  • Try to enter the HCI Sandbox. Be patient; the first time you open a chat room on your computer it may take a minute or two. You should allow it to open with Java WebStart.
  • The HCI Sandbox is a regular VMT chat room with a shared whiteboard and other tabs. You can enter chat messages or put drawings and text boxes on the whiteboard. If you are unable to enter the chat room after waiting a minute, open the VMT help pages available in the left-hand menu of the Lobby. Try the Troubleshooting Section at the end of the help pages.
  • Once you are in communication with your groups, the other members of your group can answer most of your questions and help you out. If you have trouble getting registered or into the VMT Lobby or chat rooms, then email the instructors at Gerry.Stahl@drexel.edu or Nan.Zhou@drexel.edu or Murat.Perit.Cakir@drexel.edu

Week One

  • Purchase the textbook. Read the chapters assigned for week 0ne in the Course Overview. Start your HCI-CSCL: Textbook Journal as a Word document on your own computer. Write your thoughts about the chapters in it.
  • Join your team in a VMT chat room. Your team has two group assignments (a reading review and a design project) to work on together most weeks. Use your time in the chat room to decide how you want to approach the two assignments collaboratively. It is best to try to do most of the work together, rather than dividing it up. Of course, each person should come to the chat with ideas on the readings and the design project and there will probably be some follow up work to be done after the chat, but most of the development of ideas and agreement on what to submit should be done through discussion in the chat room involving active participation by all team members. That way you can pool your skills and when you are done you will all be in agreement on what to post for your group product. Your group reading project and group design project are described below.
  • Go to the HCI-CSCL: Group Reading Projects page. This will tell you what the reading is for Week One. Click on the [download] link to download the paper on "Computer support for knowledge-building communities". This is a seminal paper that proposed CSCL-style learning. Of course, you will need to read this on your own and think about it. But you should come to your Week One VMT chat room at an agreed-upon time to discuss the paper with your team. Compose a statement by your group about this paper in the chat room. Summarize the statement on the chat room whiteboard in the area entitled "Summary". When your whole group is agreed on the statement, someone should post it to the wiki by going back to the HCI-CSCL: Group Reading Projects page and clicking on the [analysis] link. Be sure to put a heading on your statement indicating your team name, the names of the people in the team and the date and time. Once your team's statement has been posted, you should read the postings by the other teams. Feel free to discuss the postings by all the teams in the "discussion" tab for that page. (Of course, do not edit the work of another team). It is important to read the ideas of all the teams. If you are taking this course as INFO 110 in a classroom, much of the time is spent in giving team reports orally -- If you are taking this course online as INFO 608, then reading these postings is the equivalent way in which you will get a sense of the course as a knowledge-building community.
  • Go to the HCI-CSCL: Group Design Projects page and click on the Group Design Project 1 link. Here you can read a description of your group design project for week one. For week one, you should collaboratively search for key terms about CSCL. The information you need for this assignment is displayed on the project page. Collect and organize your findings in the chat room. Summarize your findings on the chat room whiteboard in the area entitled "Summary". When your whole group is agreed on the statement, someone should post it to the wiki by going back to the HCI-CSCL: Group Design Projects page and clicking on the Group Design Project 1 link. Be sure to put a heading on your statement indicating your team name, the names of the people in the team and the date and time. Once your team's statement has been posted, you should read the postings by the other teams. Feel free to discuss the postings by all the teams in the "discussion" tab for that page.

Week Two

  • Go to the HCI-CSCL: Group Reading Projects page. This will tell you what the reading is for Week Two. Click on the download links to download the papers on CSCL. Read them on your own and think about them. Come to the Week Two VMT chat room for your team at an agreed-upon time to discuss the papers with your team. Compose a statement by your group about the papers in the chat room. Summarize the statement on the chat room whiteboard in the area entitled "Summary". When your whole group is agreed on the statement, someone should post it to the wiki by going back to the HCI-CSCL: Group Reading Projects page and clicking on the analysis link. Be sure to put a heading on your statement indicating your team name, the names of the people in the team and the date and time. Once your team's statement has been posted, you should read the postings by the other teams. Feel free to discuss the postings by all the teams in the "discussion" tab for that page. It is important to read the ideas of all the teams to get a sense of the course as a knowledge-building community.
  • Go to the HCI-CSCL: Group Design Projects page and click on the HCI-CSCL: Group Design Project 2 link. Here you can read a description of your group design project for week two. Compose a statement by your group in the chat room. Summarize the statement on the chat room whiteboard in the tab entitled "Summary". When your whole group is agreed on the statement, someone should post it to the wiki by going back to the HCI-CSCL: Group Design Projects page and clicking on the HCI-CSCL: Group Design Project 2 link. Be sure to put a heading on your statement indicating your team name, the names of the people in the team and the date and time. Once your team's statement has been posted, you should read the postings by the other teams. Feel free to discuss the postings by all the teams in the "discussion" tab for that page.

Weeks Three to Nine

During the course, the goal is to develop HCI-CSCL: Class Wiki as a repository of the knowledge built by you and your teams. The purpose of the readings and projects is to help you to develop that knowledge through your collaborative social interactions in the course. HCI-CSCL: Class Wiki should be an artifact that people in the CSCL research community who are not in the course can learn from. You should work on HCI-CSCL: Class Wiki throughout the course and discuss it with your teams.

Questions

If you have any questions or concerns about the course, it is probably best to post them at the discussion tab on the course's main page. For any personal or urgent matters, please feel free to email us at Gerry.Stahl@drexel.edu, Nan.Zhou@drexel.edu and MPC48@drexel.edu



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