Don’t Ignore a Good Question

Matt put a good question on his blog last week in response to Paul’s post. I just read the question again and realized that I had missed something the first time I read it.

“Why make learners go through the cognitively challenging task of reading, comprehending, thinking of a response, composing the response, and finally typing the response?”

There is benefit to forcing users to take the time to read, comprehend, think and then compose a response. There are times when that is not important, but sometimes it is and the designers of social software should consider what is important for the tasks they are supporting as they make decisions about what kinds of interaction to support.

About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.
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One Response to Don’t Ignore a Good Question

  1. Matt says:

    David, you’re on the right track. But IMO the question is not whether we should be “forcing users to take the time to read, comprehend, think and then compose a response” in general, but rather whether we can support this type of activity/task using /synchronous/ tools such as chat.

    It would seem that asynchronous tools are better able to support this type of activity.

    And I think you’re spot on about designers of social software considering the task at hand when creating interaction support. I would argue that Habbo Hotel is only well-suited for low-level, informal social interaction. There’s lots of good research on MOOs and MUDs that you might find enlightening in this respect.

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