|•||Not all notes are read equally. A few notes get next to no attention, while a few notes get a lot of attention.|
|•||Students tend to read the most recently written notes. Access in CaMILE, as in other information ecologies, tends to be spikey.|
|•||If more participation is desired, it must be explicitly encouraged-either through classroom practice (e.g., requiring use, providing a context for use) or through features such as synchronous collaboration.|
|•||If sustained conversation is desired, anchoring collaboration to objects of interest, use of multimedia in notes and anchors, and providing persistent notes and threads may lead to longer threads of discussion.|
|•||Ways of accessing notes of interest or notes that you want students to read are useful. Students inclination seems to be for the most recent notes. Indexes to recent notes are useful. Mechanisms to highlight or index useful notes may encourage broader use of notes.|
As networking technologies continue to improve and large information spaces such as the WWW are created and utilized, theory of information ecologies can be expected to develop. CSCL forums are also information ecologies, in some ways unique from general access on the WWW but in other ways quite similar. As we better understand the information ecologies of CSCL forums, we can better design and use these facilities in order to better facilitate learning.
This research was funded by the National Science Foundation through grants RED-9550458 and CDA- 9414227.
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