technology overthink

No links today to published articles. I was just wondering about some differences in the ways today’s students navigate sites and the ways faculty try to control that navigation, and I wonder how often we’re at cross purposes. If you’ve ever sat beside students of any age at a keyboard, you probably noticed that they have a tendency to click before they think–at least that’s how it often seems to faculty. There is no hesitation; if there’s a link, there’s a click. If there are several links, one is chosen, seemingly at random, but maybe there’s a different kind of thinking going on that depends on where the link is placed or whether it’s associated with graphics or text. It may not depend on what the text suggests, but more on the visual relationship to the text.

When faculty create an instructional Web page or even fill in an instructional template like a Blackboard site, what kind of thinking motivates their decisions? I wonder if they think too much in terms of print technology instead of in terms of hypertext technology, which favors random selection over sequential narrative. Or do they think too much about how they want students to navigate, instead of how they do? How can we incorporate that student tendency to click on everything in sight into our design, so that neither of us is frustrated?

That, I’m still thinking about….

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Categories: technology

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