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Key Word in Context Finder A Concordance Tool for Online Learning and Research William H. Fletcher United States Naval Academy Paper presented at the annual.

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Presentation on theme: "Key Word in Context Finder A Concordance Tool for Online Learning and Research William H. Fletcher United States Naval Academy Paper presented at the annual."— Presentation transcript:

1 Key Word in Context Finder A Concordance Tool for Online Learning and Research William H. Fletcher United States Naval Academy Paper presented at the annual meeting of EuroCALL, University of Abertay Dundee, Scotland, 31 August – 2 September 2000.

2 Info, info everywhere… I’ve got no time to think!

3 Increasing information access has led to information excess leaving us no time to process the information we do access. Information Overload

4 InfoAge Paradox The more information we have, the less we seem to be able to do with it.

5 InfoAge Writer’s Block Any intellectual property yet, honey?

6 Is the InfoAge leading us toward disaster?

7 Actually I’m hoping that what I grow up to be hasn’t been invented yet. What does the future hold for our students?

8 What can we do to prepare our students for the future?

9 The Purpose of an Education To learn to distinguish Sense from Nonsense The details change, but the principles remain the same.

10 Help turn the Information Age into the Knowledge Age Raw Bits into Information Information into Knowledge

11 The FAIRness Principle Find information Assess its relevance, significance, and reliability Integrate it into one’s knowledge base Retrieve it efficiently

12 Isn’t the Web wonderful? The Dream… With so much information at their fingertips, students will attain new levels of insight and synthesis The Reality… Random Cut & Paste (with attribution?) replaces original research and creativity

13 Isn’t the Web wonderful? The Dream… Instant access to authentic materials from around the globe The Reality… World Wide Wait + World Wide Haystack = World Wide Frustration

14 Isn’t the Web wonderful? The Dream… With so many powerful Search Engines it should be easy to find appropriate materials online The Reality… Search Engines are designed to optimize the number, not the relevance of hits

15 KWiCFinder – Purpose A research tool to… help formulate and focus queries automatically retrieve and excerpt documents matching the search criteria A search produces a Key Word in Context concordance of the documents analyzed

16 KWiCFinder – Genesis KWiCFinder was motivated by… observation of and discussions with students and colleagues conducting online searches my own frustration with the inordinate effort required to find suitable content for instructional materials and research

17 KWiCFinder – AltaVista Largest corpus indexed – claims 340 MDocs KWiCFinder uses the AltaVista search engine Useful features for highly-specific searches World-wide coverage; Specify language Distinguishes case and special characters Best documentation of how Boolean and other criteria are implemented No stopwords excluded from index

18 KWiCFinder Enhancements Offers significant enhancements to AltaVista for foreign languages: Intuitive approach to special char input Tamecards greatly increase query specificity with limited user overhead point-and-click inclusion of countries, date ranges, domains etc. for search criteria not included in report

19 More KWiCFinder Enhancements AltaVista supports NEAR, i.e. two search terms must occur within 10 words of each other KWiCFinder adds BEFORE and AFTER, and allows the user to specify up to how many words apart

20 KWiCFinder Query Screen

21 KWiCFinder Inclusion Screen

22 KWiCFinder Exclusion Screen

23 KWiCFinder Option Screen

24 KWiCFinder – “Sic” Option AltaVista Wildcards – Implicit Any lower-case chars matches corresponding UPPER-CASE as well Any plain char matches all corresponding chars with diacritics - continuo always matches continuo, continúo, continuó - fahrt always matches fahrt, Fahrt, fährt KWiCFinder offers a “sic” option to block these built-in wildcards when desired

25 KWiCFinder – Wildcards AltaVista Wildcards – Explicit * (asterisk) matches 0-5 chars; must be preceded by 3 chars minimum KWiCFinder adds % (percent) matches 0-1 chars ? matches 1 char

26 KWiCFinder Additional Wildcards KWiCFinder Wildcards – Implicit Apostrophe ’ and hyphen - match forms with these marks, space, or no space - (ich) hab’s matches hab’s and habs - on-line matches on-line, on line, online - co-operate matches co-operate, cooperate, coöperate

27 KWiCFinder Tamecards Wildcards return any sequence of n chars Tamecards match only those combinations of chars specified by the user.

28 KWiCFinder Tamecards – Plain

29 KWiCFinder Tamecards – Indexed

30 KWiCFinder – Latest Innovations XML report format provides for… Changing report language or format without new search Annotating, classifying, and deleting citations or documents Merging search reports or extracting subsets of them

31 KWiCFinder – Current Status Download for free at Caveats and Limitations still beta software, subject to bugs and changes observe system requirements (Win 9x, technical specs, IE 5+; NT/2000??) “emerging” documentation Auto-update keeps up with changes in AV search engine and KF program

32 The Web is My Corpus, I Shall Not Want… I shall not want for material Numerous documents can be found on- line in almost any language I shall not want for challenges Formulate a query that yields optimally useful results Determine which documents are reliable and representive in form and content

33 KWiCFinder as a Teaching and Learning Tool Micro / Form Level Grammatical – examples of forms and structures in context Lexical – word use, vocabulary discovery and verification, collocates, lexical functions Macro / Content Level Assess usefulness (relevance, accessibility) of many documents quickly and efficiently

34 Preparing Learners To Use KWiCFinder Pre-Search Organizer What other factors (country, date, other terms) might help narrow your search? What words or phrases do you need to see in context? Which are essential? Which are alternatives? Post-Search Evaluation Documents chosen – Why? Contribution? Documents rejected – Why?

35 Limitations KWiCFinder is only as good as the Search Engine it uses. Spurious hits result because… AV is not always current due to “link rot” and changed pages Documents returned by a general search on AV may not meet the more-specific criteria submitted to KWiCFinder


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