Looking for a way to make those text-driven, page-turning e-learning courses more challenging?

January 9, 2008

bloog_1_web.jpg Here’s a jibberish generator (called the bloog…originally created for mashing up blogs) that could shouldn’t be used by e-learners to create their own educational game called…”you figure it out.” I’m kidding of course…but, it did make me think about taking text and putting it in a tag cloud to visualize large amounts of text.

Below, I’ve taken notes from a PowerPoint presentation on generational differences and put them in a tag cloud (which may not be viewable in a reader). Is it just me or can you see tag clouds being used to illustrate course “objectives”visually? Just me then, oh well. Via Boing Boing.

accepted appreciate authority boomers change civil classroom comfortable conscious develop discussion don downsizing esp etc flexibility form generation grew group hard interested job learning level life optimism options parents people person practice program reference remember share since skills social soft suburbs technology themselves traditional training value view ways woodstock work

created at TagCrowd.com

  • http://karynromeis.blogspot.com/ Karyn Romeis

    It might be an idea to link the words in the cloud to a brief overview of how that objective is met by the material.

    There may be problems with accessibility issues, though, because a screen reader would probably struggle with the words and a person who uses the keyboard rather than the mouse may not be able to tab through the cloud.

  • http://karynromeis.blogspot.com Karyn Romeis

    It might be an idea to link the words in the cloud to a brief overview of how that objective is met by the material.

    There may be problems with accessibility issues, though, because a screen reader would probably struggle with the words and a person who uses the keyboard rather than the mouse may not be able to tab through the cloud.

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/ Janet Clarey

    Yes, very true. Accessibility issues could be problematic. Perhaps a touch screen…

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com Janet Clarey

    Yes, very true. Accessibility issues could be problematic. Perhaps a touch screen…

  • Carri Saari

    This would be a great homepage tool for an online course in Blackboard. Students wouldn’t have to dig through learning modules to find something referenced during lecture.

    I’ll have to play with the HTML code generated by TagCrowd.com to see if it works after adding href’s within the LMS.

    Thanks for the new gadget to play with!

  • Carri Saari

    This would be a great homepage tool for an online course in Blackboard. Students wouldn’t have to dig through learning modules to find something referenced during lecture.

    I’ll have to play with the HTML code generated by TagCrowd.com to see if it works after adding href’s within the LMS.

    Thanks for the new gadget to play with!

  • http://userweb.port.ac.uk/~duke-wie/blog Emma

    From an accessibility point of view, I also wonder if people with cognitive difficulties might find it very hard to spot the smaller words. Perhaps it’s just me, but I’m not really that keen on tag clouds. I find that, by their very nature, my eyes are drawn to the biggest words, which tends to make me concentrate on those.
    However, the smaller ones could be of equal (or even greater!) interest.

    One of the things that I’ve read several times as a critique of Web2.0 is the ease of identifying with a group of people that have similar interests to you. Clearly at times that’s what you want, however, there is the drawback that it could mean that it’s not allowing you to have a broader set of contacts.
    I guess it’s getting back to the discussion on Homphily that was going on at the start of the academic year (October, for those in the Southern Hemisphere). http://fraser.typepad.com/socialtech/2007/10/homophily.html

    Perhaps it’s just me; I feel that I _ought_ to have a tag cloud on my blog, because others do, and they expect them.

    (I guess I could use the accessibility point, but not sure that it would really work, and as I have links to all my categories, then it could be argued that providing a tag cloud as well allows different users the option to select what suits them best).

  • http://userweb.port.ac.uk/~duke-wie/blog Emma

    From an accessibility point of view, I also wonder if people with cognitive difficulties might find it very hard to spot the smaller words. Perhaps it’s just me, but I’m not really that keen on tag clouds. I find that, by their very nature, my eyes are drawn to the biggest words, which tends to make me concentrate on those.
    However, the smaller ones could be of equal (or even greater!) interest.

    One of the things that I’ve read several times as a critique of Web2.0 is the ease of identifying with a group of people that have similar interests to you. Clearly at times that’s what you want, however, there is the drawback that it could mean that it’s not allowing you to have a broader set of contacts.
    I guess it’s getting back to the discussion on Homphily that was going on at the start of the academic year (October, for those in the Southern Hemisphere). http://fraser.typepad.com/socialtech/2007/10/homophily.html

    Perhaps it’s just me; I feel that I _ought_ to have a tag cloud on my blog, because others do, and they expect them.

    (I guess I could use the accessibility point, but not sure that it would really work, and as I have links to all my categories, then it could be argued that providing a tag cloud as well allows different users the option to select what suits them best).

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/ Janet Clarey

    Good points Emma. I think many of these aggregation tools could be seen as limiting. I’m revisitng josie’s post…thanks for passing that along.

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com Janet Clarey

    Good points Emma. I think many of these aggregation tools could be seen as limiting. I’m revisitng josie’s post…thanks for passing that along.

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