Human-Computer Interaction: Communication, Cooperation, and Application Design

By Hans-Jörg Bullinger; Jürgen Ziegler | Go to book overview

2 Structuring Dictionary Content for Learning
Reference information may be searched and explored for different reasons:
to discover additional sources of information;
to find all relevant data (for instance, for evaluation or justification);
to reveal any related information (initial orientation, examples);
to study some forms, styles or ways of presentation of the known facts (for instructional purposes, artwork).
Within a learning environment, all mentioned activities may correspond to the interaction with a dictionary. It is used in a number of learning situations, including: to recall some concrete data: dates, names, facts, figures;
to obtain a formal or standard description;
to interpret a term within some context;
to extend one's meta-knowledge in terminology, i.e. to explore the origin, genesis and evolution of terms;
to grasp a situation described in a foreign language;
to compare data and concepts, evaluate information, to construct and compose argumentation;
to upgrade a professional competence or to browse a new domain for initial orientation.

A type and amount of dictionary content necessary for a user, as well as the way he formulates his request for information search depend both on a type of a dictionary and specifics of the user's activity. To meet the user's expectations and ensure the effective learning, the delivery of the dictionary content should be adaptable to the user's needs and preferences, taking into account his background and current learning context of the request. ( Brusilovsky, Schwarz, and Weber, 1996).

In case of explanatory dictionary, all embedded body of knowledge is naturally pre-structured according to the concepts and terms of the domain which serve as the only entries to the corresponding information fragments. For the purpose of learning, traditional dictionary entries are further divided into smaller fragments to separate the term, its definition, explanation, examples, description of the use, function or structure of the corresponding entity, links to the related concepts, references to supplementary sources, etc. This fine-grain structuring solves only

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