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Information Management Christoph Göth © University of Zurich, Information Management Research Group, Christoph Göth, Dirk Frohberg,

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Presentation on theme: "Information Management Christoph Göth © University of Zurich, Information Management Research Group, Christoph Göth, Dirk Frohberg,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Information Management Christoph Göth goeth@ifi.unizh.ch © University of Zurich, Information Management Research Group, Christoph Göth, Dirk Frohberg, Gerhard Schwabe Dirk Frohberg frohberg@ifi.unizh.ch Gerhard Schwabe schwabe@ifi.unizh.ch The Focus Problem in Mobile Learning

2 University of Zurich, Information Management Research Group, Christoph Göth, Dirk Frohberg, Gerhard Schwabe Seite:2 Agenda 1.Introduction to the mExplorer and the focus problem 2.Results from mExplorer tests 3.Literature review 4.Proposal: The mobile phone metaphor and its requirements.

3 University of Zurich, Information Management Research Group, Christoph Göth, Dirk Frohberg, Gerhard Schwabe Seite:3 Short introduction to the mobile learning game mExplorer Supporting the orientation day at a university by offering an electronically supported orientation rally. The goal is to familiarize the students with the university and its surroundings. The students have to find significant places, people and events and perform typical tasks there. This should lead to further exploration. Supported by the mobile device: –Positioning System –Information referring to the tasks and the environment –Information referring to other players –Chat for communication

4 University of Zurich, Information Management Research Group, Christoph Göth, Dirk Frohberg, Gerhard Schwabe Seite:4 The focus problem

5 University of Zurich, Information Management Research Group, Christoph Göth, Dirk Frohberg, Gerhard Schwabe Seite:5 Agenda 1.Introduction to the mExplorer and the focus problem 2.Results from mExplorer tests 3.Literature review 4.Proposal: The mobile phone metaphor and its requirements.

6 University of Zurich, Information Management Research Group, Christoph Göth, Dirk Frohberg, Gerhard Schwabe Seite:6 Field test winter term 2004 149 new students played the mExplorer game to get an introduction to the Unversity of Zurich Comparison of different groups sizes Result: Teams of two solved 63 % more tasks than individual players Interviews: The device drew too much focus and required mental effort. Playing in teams of two leads to sharing this cognitive load.

7 University of Zurich, Information Management Research Group, Christoph Göth, Dirk Frohberg, Gerhard Schwabe Seite:7 Field test winter term 2005 57 new students played the mExplorer game to get an introduction to the Unversity of Zurich Comparison of the mExplorer with an analog alternative We expected a better and quicker orientation with the digital version of the game Results: –Only 48 % of the players of the digital game fulfilled all tasks in the given 90 minutes –We observed that many players just moved across the campus, their heads down to the PDA, without noticing anything except what was happening on the PDA –Some players crashed into other people or pillars –All analog players fulfilled all tasks. And the average time to fulfill all tasks was 40 minutes.

8 University of Zurich, Information Management Research Group, Christoph Göth, Dirk Frohberg, Gerhard Schwabe Seite:8 Expert survey Test of the mExplorer with 12 experts (pedagogues and teachers ) at a workshop on mobile learning at the University of Zurich Two steps of the survey: 1.General feedback with an electronic brainstorming to the mExplorer, what is good and what is bad? (No reference to the focus problem was given) 2.Reflection of the brainstorming: Each participant select the three most important points of the feedback Results: –23% of all feedback entries in this open feedback brainstorming addressed only the focus problem –The PDA was generally blamed for such a high focus that they could not focus on anything else in the surroundings –The item The view was more centered on the Palm than on the premises and the buildings received the most votes in the reflection phase. –In the discussion after the voting, the pedagogues and teachers confirmed that the PDA hindered them most in exploring the new environment.

9 University of Zurich, Information Management Research Group, Christoph Göth, Dirk Frohberg, Gerhard Schwabe Seite:9 Agenda 1.Introduction to the mExplorer and the focus problem 2.Results from mExplorer tests 3.Literature review 4.Proposal: The mobile phone metaphor and its requirements.

10 University of Zurich, Information Management Research Group, Christoph Göth, Dirk Frohberg, Gerhard Schwabe Seite:10 Focus in other mobile learning projects In a literature review Frohberg reports 15 projects in the physical context category which fits to the mExplorer We excluded RAFT project from the following discussion because the user of the mobile application is not the learning person The other 14 projects where grouped in 1.projects of location and object related content delivery (9) 2.projects of environmental data collection (5)

11 University of Zurich, Information Management Research Group, Christoph Göth, Dirk Frohberg, Gerhard Schwabe Seite:11 Focus in projects of location and object related content delivery Design is very similar to the mExplorer: They all have a digital map of the area on a mobile device plus a localization system in common and provides digital content. Results from Carus: "The participants felt that significant mental effort was required to use the application, which correspondingly led to a large amount of heads-down interaction. The use of the handheld application was far from seamlessly integrated with the visitor experience." In all these projects the technology has high dominance and steals focus from the physical environment. The design of the projects require permanent attention and interaction from the learner The interfaces are explicitly designed to be most dynamic, frequently providing new multimedia content and updating location data.

12 University of Zurich, Information Management Research Group, Christoph Göth, Dirk Frohberg, Gerhard Schwabe Seite:12 User attention in the HCI research area Kristoffersen and Ljungberg explore the common problem of many mobile application in an empirical study The direct manipulation style (transferred from the desktop applications) demands too high level of visual attention for mobile usage Pascoe et al. elaborate on this effect and show an intensification of the problem if the user is moving Brewster shows how too much attention on the device can even lead to dangerous situations, like moving in front of a driving car. Solution: Reduction of the needed attention by simplifying the user interface, usage of audio or haptical input or usage of sensors to automate input All solutions try to reduce the focus to the device. But in the learning context, focus is explicitly needed.

13 University of Zurich, Information Management Research Group, Christoph Göth, Dirk Frohberg, Gerhard Schwabe Seite:13 User attention in the HCI research area Another way of handling the problem: The taxonomy of Buxton Necessity of designing explicit transitions from the foreground to the background and vice versa Solution: Accepting the problem and controlling the time, that is, when the focus is directed to the application and when it is not

14 University of Zurich, Information Management Research Group, Christoph Göth, Dirk Frohberg, Gerhard Schwabe Seite:14 Agenda 1.Introduction to the mExplorer and the focus problem 2.Results from mExplorer tests 3.Literature review 4.Proposal: The mobile phone metaphor and its requirements.

15 University of Zurich, Information Management Research Group, Christoph Göth, Dirk Frohberg, Gerhard Schwabe Seite:15 Changing the design metaphor from small desktop to mobile phone Small desktopMobile phone Used permanentlyUsed discontinuous (only if needed) Application focus always in the foreground Focus switches from the foreground to the background and backward (triggered) Dynamic interface design (many changes) Reduced interface design (reduced to essentials) Multi-functional usageSpecific usage Content deliveryTriggers activities

16 University of Zurich, Information Management Research Group, Christoph Göth, Dirk Frohberg, Gerhard Schwabe Seite:16 Design requirements (1/2) Plan discontinuous usage –The mExplorer provides real time information and displays every change in the game directly. This causes a distraction of the focus from the environment to the PDA –Plan: Change from push information mode to pull information mode Plan focus switches –We havent thought about focus switches. The focus switches only, if the player solves tasks because the only way to solve them is to interact with the environment. –Plan: With the change to the push mode the device will be in the background by default. We plan to implement audio alarms to bring the device in the foreground if a important information needs the focus of the player (e.g. a new tasks comes up) Use technologies only if it brings added value –There is always the danger that the technology distract the focus –Plan: We plan to use a paper based map for basic orientation. But the player can request further information with the PDA.

17 University of Zurich, Information Management Research Group, Christoph Göth, Dirk Frohberg, Gerhard Schwabe Seite:17 Design requirements (2/2) Do not use animations if the application is in the background focus –One major reason of the focus problem is the heavily use of animation in the mExplorer. Movement on the display is an eye catcher wich causes automatically attraction. –Plan: Again we plan to give the control to the user. We animate the information on the display only if the player requested this. Reduce features as much as possible –There are a lot of functions integrated in the mExplorer. This causes addition attraction of the focus to the device. –Plan: Implement a configure option for each function of the mExplorer. The designer of the learning game can decide which function should be in the game.

18 University of Zurich, Information Management Research Group, Christoph Göth, Dirk Frohberg, Gerhard Schwabe Seite:18 Summary Mobile learning, especially in explorative, situative, cooperative and contextual settings, is a completely different from traditional learning. The goal is to free the learner from a passively consuming status. Instead the learner is supposed to be activated in doing and thinking, as he interacts with the physical environment and its objects. A dominance of the computer is counterproductive here, as it distracts the learner's attention from the learning context. We suggest to use the mobile phone metaphor to design mobile learning applications to solve this problem.


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