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  4. VISION - Visual Interfaces for Systematising and Interpreting Online Notes

VISION - Visual Interfaces for Systematising and Interpreting Online Notes

  • Project leader(s): Ale OkadaAnna De LiddoAndrea Berardi
  • Theme: Online/onscreen STEM practice
  • Faculty: WELSSTEM
  • Status: Archived
  • Dates: May 2017 to February 2021

Understanding students’ preferences and habits about digital reading is fundamental to support paperless learning. Students who are not used to learn from digital content may find studying print text easier.  Literature is limited about how to engage students from higher education with onscreen reading through online annotation maps. A considerable gap is to understand whether an annotation mapping tool would scaffold this process. What are the drivers and challenges for promoting paperless learning?

This qualitative study supported by learning analytics examined 18 students’ views about onscreen annotation and their practices with LiteMap.

LiteMap is a Web tool for mapping out visually online content across different Web pages or Websites. With LiteMap users can collaboratively mark up and annotate onine content with their ideas, comments, questions, etc and connect them in meaningful network graphs. LiteMap supports Web annotation and visual summarisation to trigger reflection, promote deeper understanding and improve engagement in online content reading. 

Participants from the COLEARN community, who are learners of OpenLearn Create, were invited to join the LiteMap tool  and enroll in an OpenLearn online module. The  cloud-based application LiteMap was used as a novel online learning environment  for learners to map their online annotatations using  their web browser.

Findings revealed that most of the participants were used to annotating on print text. The key motivation factors  for using a novel annotation tool were to facilitate the process of reading, save time and completing tasks of the online module more effectively.

Four groups of participants were identified in terms of the ways they used the LiteMap annotation tool: non-users who only joined the tool, note-takers who tagged content to complete tasks, note-makers who created notes to increase their comprehension and note-mappers who benefited from mapping notes to better present their argumentation. 

This study enabled also to identify some key drivers for onscreen annotation, which were familiarity with digital tools, interest in collecting, mapping and interpreting online content. Some  key barriers for engaging students with paperless learning were overcoming technical problems, engaging with a new tool and developing onscreen annotation skills.

Related Resources: 
PDF icon Ale Okada, Onscreen annotation. eSTEeM Final Report.pdf1.52 MB

eSTEeM final report.