Presentations

  • Cognitive dimensions of notations: what, why and a bit of how
    Distinguished Lecture at Villanova University, 2006
    The cognitive dimensions framework was devised to improve design practice by making it easier to talk about design usability at an appropriate level of abstraction. The framework was conceived in the context of exploratory design (such as programming tasks). This talk will give an up-to-date overview of CDs, describing the framework and its evolution. The talk will offer examples of how cognitive dimensions inform a usability analysis of information structures in general, and programming representations in particular. The talk discuss the framework's use and utility, as well as some of the open issues.

    Participants: Marian Petre
    Web: http://computing-research.open.ac.uk/crc/keynotes/petre06vu.ppt
  • COLLABORATIVE REQUIREMENTS DEVELOPMENT IN A WIKI ON A SOFTWARE ENGINEERING COURSE
    The Shock of the Old 2007: Shock of the Social": One-Day Conference on Educational Technologies, University of Oxford, Said Business School, 22nd March 2007
    The UK Open University (OU) has embarked on a 5m Programme to develop an integrated virtual learning environment (VLE) to meet the online learning needs of its 200,000 distance learners. The open source VLE, Moodle (www.moodle.org), has been adopted by the University and is now undergoing extensive development to provide the required functionality. New on-line tools such as blogs, wikis and podcasting are beginning to transform the way that learning is developed by course teams and supported by over 7,000 tutors. The course-team of a post-graduate course, Software Requirements for Business Systems, in the Department of Computing of the OU has been one of the early adopters of the VLE. The course involves teaching systematic elicitation, recording, and communication of requirements of software systems. On a software development project, the elicitation of requirements is generally carried out by a team of requirements engineers or system analysts. In software enterprises, requirements engineers work on remote locations and wikis are increasingly being used for collaboratively developing requirements specification documents. In the current presentation (November 2006 - March 2007) of the requirements engineering course, we (the course-team/academics) have introduced activities based on wikis to provide students with the opportunity to engage in small group collaboration in order to emulate requirements engineering practice, thereby providing students with transferable skills for working with community-tools in the industry. In this paper, we will discuss our experiences and the social, cultural, organisational and technological challenges that we faced while incorporating the wiki within the course such as management of stakeholder-interactions; designing the wiki-activities and linking them with the pedagogical underpinnings of the course; assessment strategy, and so on. Next, we will discuss the on-going evaluation of the pedagogical effectiveness of incorporating a wiki for collaborative authoring and learning on this course. Finally, we will discuss how we have developed a dissemination strategy for sharing experiences and evaluations of the wiki activities within the OU and the wider HE community.

    Participants: Shailey Minocha, Peter G. Thomas, Niall Sclater and Martha Hause
    Web: http://computing-research.open.ac.uk/crc/keynotes/Minocha_0307.pdf
  • Does elearning have to be so awful? Time to mashup or shutup!
    Keynote address, The 7th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT 2007), Niigata, Japan, July 2007
    Note 1: the slides have very few embedded comments, but the flow and gist may be gleaned from the accompanying ICALT 2007 paper. Note 2: the actual presentation relies upon a link to an audio segment beginning at exactly 15:00 minutes into President John F. Kennedy’s Address at Rice University on the Nation’s Space Effort, 12th September 1962, available from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum archive of the text and audio

    Participants: Marc Eisenstadt
    Web: http://kmi.open.ac.uk/people/marc/slides1/Eisenstadt-ICALT-07-keynote.ppt
  • Expert strategies for dealing with complex and intractable problems
    Keynote at Psychology of Programming Interest Group (PPIG) 19th Annual Workshop, 2007
    Software design is a realm of messy problems that are often too big, too ill-defined, too complex for easy comprehension and solution. Such problems are rarely amenable to solution by "brute force" methods -- even at the coding level such problems entail a significant cognitive load. This talk reports on strategies observed in expert behaviour in dealing with complex and intractable problems. The strategies arise from a series of in situ observations and interviews with 10 expert software engineers in the US and UK over 2 years. It appears that experts manage intractable problems by transforming them: abstracting, simplifying, deferring parts of the problem, translating them into a different representation, and so on. A range of such strategies is identified and described, and implications of expert reasoning about intractable problems are discussed.

    Participants: Marian Petre
    Web: http://computing-research.open.ac.uk/crc/keynotes/petre07ppig.ppt
  • Knowledge Media and Health Informatics: From Semantics to Social Software
    Keynote address, Informatica en Salud, Informatica 2007, Havana, Cuba, February 2007.
    Knowledge Media and Health Informatics: From Semantics to Social Software

    Participants: Marc Eisenstadt
    Web: http://kmi.open.ac.uk/people/marc/slides1/Eisenstadt-KMedia-Health-Informatica07.ppt