Done, done and done.

Well, it’s been a long time coming but I can now say that my masters thesis on the virtual margin is fully and completely done. I now have a couple of months off before I start the doctoral program in September. For those who are interested, here’s the abstract.

Applications like Knowledge Forum enable a group of people to work together in a collective effort to improve their ideas and develop their understanding. One of the primary features of these applications is a communication mechanism that enables the group members to discuss multiple topics via a system of publishing messages. This study considers the usability and usefulness of a virtual margin added as an interface element on the right side of Knowledge Forum windows. The virtual margin provides each group member with their own private writing space adjacent to the space containing the public notes. For the study, a group of graduate students used Knowledge Forum, with its interface modified to include the virtual margin, in a knowledge building exercise. Their interactions with the virtual margin and the comments they wrote in it are discussed. Additionally, several potential new features are described and a longer term study outlined.

Keywords: annotation; knowledge building; Knowledge Forum; marginalia; usability
Subjects: educational technology; group work in education; knowledge building;
annotations; application software – development

This entry was posted on Sunday, April 6th, 2008 at 9:28 pm and is filed under Uncategorized . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

There is 2 comments to this post.
  1. Johnny Yuen Says:

    Hi I am a grad student in HongKong investigating knowledge building and pedagogies that afford students to build knowledge. Its great to meet people online who works on KB as well. Your view design sounds interesting. Are there pedagogical designs accompanying the use of the personal areas? what kind of things they generally talk in there?

  2. John Koetsier Says:

    Congrats Carl! That’s a major accomplishment.

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