Last time I talked about why the ways individuals think about knowledge, might impact on their behaviour, and how we could support more advanced behaviours. Of course, this also depends on how we - collectively - think about knowledge and act on this, through our policy and the ways we structure websites, etc. For example, how education/assessment policy might encourage particular ways of thinking about knowledge.
When we search for and find information on the web, how do we decide what information is useful? From a researcher perspective, deciding how ‘successfully’ people have found information – whether through a search engine like google, an OER website like gooru, or a jobs portal, school site, or whatever is challenging. I think we should also be interested in how users conceptualise what they’re looking for – do they think there’s, “one answer” or many, do they think there are lots of bits of connecting information or are they more independent. Perhaps they have views on particularly authoritative websites (the BBC v. Wikipedia v. Yahoo Answers), or whether they should just take as a “given” what is said on websites, or that in order for them to have knowledge, they need to understand the information. more >
One of the difficult things about working on Skype or Google Hangout is that it strips us of the social cues that normally oil the wheels of good conversation, that little lean forward, opening of the mouth, intake of breath before someone interjects. (If these social cues don't mean anything to you then you are either spending way too much time online, or bereft of social skills. Either way stop reading this and go and talk to someone immediately)
One of the things we've been exploring at Nominet Trust is how do you replicate a natural flow of conversion when working on video conferencing that just isn't subtle enough to pick up on these?
One of the questions that should keep any funder awake at night is: are we doing the best that can be done with the money?
Answering this naturally leads any funder to ask how do we measure our success?
On one level they can obviously reflect on the work of the projects they fund or partner with. After all, a core measure of success is what happens with the money. But in a wider sense, funders work in different ways and so to understand their effectiveness there has to be an understanding of the strengths or weaknesses of their funding model. For example, are they all about supporting the continuation of work by existing organisations? Or are they an early stage investor who tries to get new ideas off the ground? In this case, how do you measure success when you're starting up new projects? more >
Who are you? Over my next few blogs I’m going to talk a bit more about what I’m doing and how. I hope it’s of some interest to people in itself, but I also want to use it to illustrate some wider points about data collection.