Information Annotation II

First Reading of this class was “Toward an ecology of hypertext annotation” authored by Catherine C Marshall who now works for the Center for the Study of Digital Libraries at Texas A &M University. Frankly speaking the topic could not be more closer to a grad student life. We often have to go through papers and though note making software like Evernote are in use we often end up scribbling important things on the paper itself. The paper focusses on the importance of annotations as a key method of growing hypertext. The author subsequently goes on to list many dimensions of manual annotations and their markers and also expounds her experimental methodology and the problem she had to face in gathering user data. She then uses N way consensus technique to formalise the idea of many users agreeing on certain parts of texts as important. For me the idea was very natural . This comes from my personal experience .Often during high school I used textbooks which had been used by my sisters. Though i wished back then i had new books but old books annotated by my sisters and her friends were great accessories during examination and quick revision. Of course there were other factors at play my sisters were in the top half of the class so i never second guessed their judgement . This touches on the Marshall idea of the authority of the annotator as an important factor in its acceptability as i did no such blind following of the annotations i found in other books in my library. Another thing that i found important and very pertinent was how seamlessly the annotation can move from the private domain to public domain. This can be sometimes troublesome for the annotator’s privacy as the annotation was often done using private references and in mother tongue of the annotator. I really wish an electronic tool could capture the ambit and usefulness of the written annotation.

Second Reading for the week was “Two dimensional Spatial Positioning as a Means for Reflection in Design” . The ideas presented were very intuitive and natural to the actual writing process which had been taken in the paper as an example of a design activity. I could definitely relate to the absence of an interactive tool which supports the early phase of design . Often the tools available assumes you have already come up with the design . I had a first hand experience of such problems while taking Engineering Drawing during my undergraduate years. I had difficulty visualising the final answers provided in the book as I often processed things sequentially applying one view before moving on to the other . I also wanted to be sure that no other specification corresponded to this configuration. This often involved talking back in my head and tweaking the initial design. I did not realise at that moment that i was doing reflection in action. The ideas presented in the paper are very logical and intuitive. The tool ART described in the paper tries to minimise the differences apparent in the computer based tools with the pencil and paper experience which is part of an all encompassing goal of AI that to minimise the differences between real and virtual world. The process of Writing requires both reflection in action and on action. I also agree with Bruner comment that externalisation produces a record that is outside us. I also agree with the importance of talkback in the design process . Schoen correctly describes talkback as the feedback to the designers which is very essential for usable design. I throughly enjoyed reading the section on “The Writing Process” . The five phases listed more or less mimic the actual writing process and the gaze moment analysis is an excellent tool for this.

Third Reading of the week focussed on building a collection of Rich bookmarks as Information Composition. The paper describes Reflection Interpretation and curation as important steps in problem solving.The paper then represents rich bookmarks as representations of key ideas from key documents as navigable links. The concept of rich bookmarks as defined in the paper is certainly very helpful for Information composition from different sources. This ensures collection of good quality data form different data sources in this age of data boom. The integration of visual clipping in the rich bookmarks is also a great help for Information curation. The tool also greatly supports Reflection and interpretation and represents different relationships by the manipulation of the features such as spatial positioning size and colour. I also agree with the idea that the tool introduction promotes reflection and interpretation. The idea also supports divergent views and promotes novelty which is appropriately taken as a contributor to evaluation metric. The tool certainly promotes reflection in information curation which can certainly help in pedagogy.