are Visual Interfaces for Systematising and Interpreting Online Notes.
Problem: A key issue for students in online courses is to make sense of large amount of information from various resources and develop thinking skills on the web. OU students’ comments revealed that “there is a wealth of resources online to help you including forums full of people in your position”, however online study requires motivation and committed work; “it isn't easy and you have to really be motivated and determined to make yourself work “.
Questions: our aim is to investigate whether LiteMap (a mapping tool developed in KMi) helps students and tutors annotate and map online content for increasing understanding and maintain levels of motivation. In what ways do students and tutors extract and connect online content? Can they use maps to develop visual thinking and interpretation? What are their difficulties and recommendations? How does collaborative LiteMap use affect levels of study motivation?
Foundation: Literature highlights that visual representations can facilitate the process of sensemaking by making it explicit for students to learn in a meaningful way. Meaningful learning occurs when learners choose to seek ways to relate new propositions to existing knowledge and make those relations visible to apprehend new meanings (Ausubel,1963;Novak,1998). Previous studies show that mapping supports forum discussions; writing and teamwork; however there is not enough research on annotation and how it can improve both mapping and interpretation of online content.
Research Design: Based on a ‘mixed methods’ approach, our study focuses on T891 “Making Environmental Decision”. We will analyse students’ maps in LiteMap, focus groups with tutors and semi-structured questionnaires. Our thematic analysis in Nvivo will also include gender, age, nationality and educational background.
Expected Outcomes: 1. Technological improvement of LiteMap, 2. New approaches for online learning, 3. Showcase of best practices, 4. Mapping methodology for other courses, 5. List of recommendations for users.