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1. what did you find

1.1. interesting about the article?

Most people found interest in the general concept of HFA. Some brought up potential problems they could see with trying to model millions of users with a handful of generalizations. Most related HFA to other user-oriented systems we've discussed in this course.

"I think the most challenging concept is the idea of "writing software for millions of users while making it work as if it were designed for each individual user". How do you do this?" - Byrnes

1.2. not interesting about the article?

Few had objections to this article. The ones who did said they didn't like the fact that some of the concepts elaborated in this article (namely HCI) have already be addressed in previous assignments.

2. what do you consider the main message of the article?

The consensus was that this article's purpose was to expose readers to and define "user-modelling" and the accompanying HFA systems. The goal was to demonstrate the importance of HFA applications that "say the right thing at the right time in the right way".

"The main message of the article was describing the ideas of user models as they relate to human computer interaction." - Adam Torgerson

3. to which other previous articles / discussion topics of the course is this article related?

The responses to this question were very diverse. The most commonly referenced articles involved EDC, CLever, and metadesign, though nearly every article we've read in this course so far was mentioned.

"This article relates to fundamental issues in design, learning, and collaboration that we have discussed since the beginning of Spring 2005." - Nathan Balasubramanian

4. choose MS-Word (or another HFA) as an example:

4.1. how much (in percent) of the functionality of the HFA do you know?

For those who chose MS-Word as the example, no users responded with higher than 50%. This kind of response reflects the knowledge most students in this class have gained from this course, particularly the idea of the realm of knowledge versus the actual available functionality. This would've been an interesting question to ask early on in the course.

4.2. how do you learn new functionality?

Most referred to online documentation, help functions, and consulting others.

"Microsoft's built in help documentation has been very helpful if you know specifically what you want to do. Google is also good for learning tasks that you can phrase. However, sometimes we learn by simply stumbling over a new feature that we then add to our capabilities." - coyer/schram

4.3. for MS-Word users: is there a command in MS-Word which “transposes two characters” (e.g., “leanr” becomes “learn” by positioning the cursor between n and r and executing the command)?

Everyone responded that they didn't know a way to do this in MS-Word. Others mentioned that editors such as vim and emacs do have such functionality.

5. what have YOU learnt “on demand” in YOUR life? Briefly describe the most prominent example.

This question provoked perhaps the most interesting responses. A handful of students, for obvious reasons, replied that their programming experience required learning on demand. Other than that, many spoke of non-formal educational environments (traveling, teaching, moving to new communities, bartending, etc.) where they used learning on demand.

"I am a bartender, and when I first started, I didn't know anything. I had to learn as I went along. I had to pay attention to so much more than just the ingredients in a drink (which also had to be learned); things like proportions, customer reactions, adjustments to ingredients based on preferences, describing tastes of different things, helping someone that wasn't sure what they wanted, inventing drinks for someone that wanted something different, etc. I learned what I needed to know at the point which I needed to use it." - sandersi

6. what do people have to know to be able to learn on demand?

Responses included: the desire/motivation to learn demand, knowledge of the existence of systems/tools to support us in learning on demand, knowledge of how to access information, etc.

"People should know what they want to learn, whether it exists and where to find the resources to learn from. In addition, people should practice more what they learn." - Ashok/Velezmor

7. why should one “learn on demand” instead of relying on “use on demand”?

Most agreed that in order to really have tangiable, practical knowledge of something, you need to learn it rather than just use it. Often, we can use things that we really don't know about.

"If "use on demand" implies being able to use something without understanding (e.g. "I'm not sure what I did but it worked") this ability does not help me the next time I encounter the same problem." - phong

8. which computer systems have you encountered which

8.1. have a User Modeling Component?

Common responses included popular software packages (MS-Word, Acrobat Reader, Dreamweaver, etc.)

8.2. support learning on demand?

Responses referred to the Internet accompanied by search engines (Google), many of the software packages stated in responses to the question above (#8.1).

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