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22 SEPTEMBER 2014

Engaging learners through uncertain rewards

"Uncertainty may be an important component of the motivation provided by learning games, especially when associated with gaming rather than learning. Three studies are reported that explore the influence of gaming uncertainty on engagement with computer- based learning games. In the first study, children (10–11 years) played a simple maths quiz. Participants chose their preferred reward for a correct answer prior to seeing each question. They could either receive a single point or toss an animated coin to receive 2 points for heads or none for tails. A preference for the uncertain option was revealed and this increased during the quiz. The second study explored the discourse around learning when pairs of participants (13–14 years) competed against the computer in a science quiz. Progress depended on the acquisition of facts but also on the outcomes of throwing dice. Discourse was characterised by a close intermingling of learning and gaming talk without salient problematic constructions regarding fairness when losing points due to gaming uncertainty. A final experiment explored whether, in this type of game, the uncertainty provided by the gaming component could influence players’ affective response to the learning component. Electrodermal activity (EDA) of 16 adults was measured while they played the quiz with and without the element of chance provided by the dice. Results showed EDA when answering questions was increased by inclusion of gaming uncertainty. Findings are discussed in terms of the potential benefits of combining gaming uncertainty with learning and directions for further research in this area are outlined."

(Howard-Jones, P. A. and S. Demetriou, 2009)

1). Howard-Jones, P. A. and S. Demetriou (2009). "Uncertainty and Engagement with Learning Games." Instructional Science: An International Journal of the Learning Sciences 37(6): 519-536.

2). Paul Howard-Jones, 2014, radio programme, BBC Radio 4 - The Educators, episode 5 of 8, first broadcast: 10 September 2014.

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2009 • acquisition of facts • affective response • BBC Radio 4 • chance • chance outcome • coin toss • compelling engagement • competitioncomputer games • computer-based learning games • dopamine • educational neuroscience • educational psychologyeducational research • effective teaching • Electrodermal Activity (EDA) • fairnessgamblinggame-based learninggamifying learning and teaching • gaming uncertainty • learning and reward • learning and success • learning engagement • learning games • magnetic effect • memorymotivational needsneuroscience • neuroscience and education • our ability to learn • Paul Howard-Jones • prize • reward system • risk-taking • roulette wheel • running score • Skevi Demetriou • skill • sleep • The Educators (radio series) • throwing dice • transcranial electrical stimulation • uncertain options • uncertain rewards • uncertaintyvideo games

CONTRIBUTOR

Christa Van Raalte
22 SEPTEMBER 2014

Future Knowledge: Lev Manovich Interview

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21st centuryAdobe IllustratorAdobe PhotoshopAfter Effects • always-changing field • contemporary designcontemporary media • contemporary media software • cultural artefactsdigital culture • early 20th century • early 21st centuryelectronic technologiesFinal Cut ProGoogle Earthinteractive environments • interface to the world • interfaces • Lev ManovichMaya • mechanical technologies • media • media applications • media authoring • media machine • media sharing • media-specific tools • medias access • memory • our imagination • physical technologies • software • software for media authoring • Software Takes Command • The Language of New Media • the medium • theory of the technology • tools shape • universal engine • universal language • visual aestheticsweb services

CONTRIBUTOR

Neal White
22 SEPTEMBER 2014

Jean-Luc Godard's Critical Appropriation of Graphic Design

"The films of Jean-Luc Godard have been written about perhaps more than any other cinematic works, often through the lens of cultural theory, but not nearly enough attention has been paid to the role of designed objects in his films. Collages of art, literature, language, objects, and words, Godard's films have an instant, impactful, graphic quality, but are far from simple pop artifacts. The thesis this presentation derives from, 'Objects to be Read, Words to be Seen: Design and Visual Language in the Films of Jean-Luc Godard 1959–1967,' explores and interprets the role of visual language within the films—title sequences, intertitles, handwritten utterances, and printed matter in the form of newspapers, magazines, and posters.

By examining le graphisme within the cultural context of Paris during the 1960s, this thesis seeks to amplify the significance of graphic design in Godard's first fifteen films, beginning with 1960's À Bout de Souffle (Breathless) and ending with 1967's Weekend. While Godard was not a practicing graphic designer in the traditional sense, he was an amateur de design, an autodidact whose obsession with designed objects, graphic language and print media resulted in the most iconic body of work in 1960s France."

(Laura Forde, 30 April 2010)

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1960s • A Bout de Souffle (1959) • amateur de design • appropriation • autodidact • Breathless (1959) • cinematic visual language • cinematic works • critical appropriation • cultural context • cultural theory • design and visual language • design sense • designed objects • designed thingsend titlesFrancegraphic design • graphic language • graphic quality • hand lettering • handwritten utterances • iconic body of work • intertitlesJean-Luc Godard • Laura Forde • le graphisme • magazinesnewspapersParispostersprint media • printed matter • title sequencetitle stillsTwo Or Three Things I Know About Hertypographyvideo lecturevisual languagevisual sensibilityWeekend

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
20 SEPTEMBER 2014

Horizon: The defenders of anonymity on the internet

"Yet while anonymity offers a potential bulwark against surveillance, for those who do not wish to be watched, it has also helped in the development of that part of the online world known as the dark web.

Sites on the dark web like Silk Road have used Tor technology to hide their location and yet still be available to users who wish to visit them.

The dark web has now become a focus for law enforcement officers who believe it is facilitating a variety of illegal activities including financial crime and child abuse."

(Mike Radford, 3 September 2014, BBC News)

Fig.1 "Inside the Dark Web" 2014, television programme, BBC Two - Horizon, Series 51, Episode 4, first broadcast: 3 September 2014.

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2014 • anonymising networks • anonymity • anonymous communication • anonymous protocol • anonymous system • anonymous web browsing • BBC Twobitcoin • black market • Chelsea Manning • child abusecommunications monitoring • controversial technology • crime evasion • criminal actscryptographycybercrime • dark internet • dark web • David Chaum • deep web • deepnet • detection • digital realm • dissidents • distributed filesharing network • distributed network • Edward Snowden • encryption • file sharing • financial crime • free market economy • GCHQ • government agencies • hidden network • hidden web • Horizon (BBC TV series) • I2P • information flowsinformation retrieval • information use • Internet • Interpol • invisible web • Jacob Appelbaum • Joss Wright • Julian Assangelaw enforcement • Mix Network • monitoring • National Security Agency • NSA • online activities • online marketplace • online space • Oxford Internet Institute • privacy and security • search engines • Silk Road (marketplace) • surface web • surveillancetelecommunicationsTim Berners-LeeTortraffic analysis • Troels Oerting • US Naval Research Laboratory Tor • Wikileaksworld wide web

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
19 SEPTEMBER 2014

Agile Software Development: what we've learned at Forty

"The general idea behind Agile is that instead of arguing about the wording of a requirements document written three months earlier with little perspective into the current situation, it's often healthier to acknowledge that the project is going to be flexible and evolving, and put processes in place that allow it to be that way.

Barely over 200 words, that manifesto become the foundation for a movement that has changed the world of software development forever. Endless writing and speaking has explored the various ways the manifesto could be interpreted, and many specific frameworks and methodologies (such as Extreme Programming, Kanban, Lean, and Scrum) have been developed to formalize its principles. A whole 'Agile industry' has emerged, with successful companies offering tools, training, consulting, certification, and other products and services. The economic engine behind the Agile movement as a whole is massive. ...

On the surface, it seems like design and Agile should magically work together, but there are some underlying philosophical issues you have to wrestle with before figuring it out. Design is all about big-picture thinking: planning, strategy, working out all the details, thinking everything through, making it perfect, etc. (Eric Karjaluoto called it the 'masterpiece mentality.') Agile, on the other hand, is more often about doing the basics and saving details for later: iteration, minimum viable products, 'perfect is the enemy of done,' etc. Those two worlds don't blend smoothly together, at least at first. Agile developers can get frustrated with designers for over-thinking things ('Why can't they just let it go? We can get to that later.'), while the designers get discouraged by the perceived low standards of Agile developers ('Don't you want it to be good? Don't you want the user to be happy?').

In both cases, though, the problem comes from a misunderstanding of each other's perspectives (as problems often do). The designer isn't being obsessive, they're just trying to do right by the user. And the developer isn't being lazy, they're just following a process that actually gets things done with minimal navel-gazing. Both sides could learn some important lessons from each other."

(James Archer, Forty)

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agile development • agile model • agile modelling • agile software development • current situationdesign process • development methodology • Eric Karjaluoto • evolving needseXtreme Programmingfacing unpredicted challengesflexible management methodology • flexible process • formalised principles • iterative approachiterative design processiterative developmentiterative processjust-in-time (JIT)Kanban • Lean (methodology) • management methodology • over-thinking • perfect is the enemy of done • requirements documents • saving details for later • scrum software development processsoftware developmentsoftware development methoduser experience design • UX design • waterfall modelwhirlpool model

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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