Title: Using tag-clouds for supporting reflection in self-organised learning

Authors: Christian Glahn, Marcus Specht, Rob Koper

Addresses: Centre for Learning Sciences and Technologies, Open University of The Netherlands, Valkenburgerweg 177, 6419AT Heerlen, The Netherlands. ' Centre for Learning Sciences and Technologies, Open University of The Netherlands, Valkenburgerweg 177, 6419AT Heerlen, The Netherlands. ' Centre for Learning Sciences and Technologies, Open University of The Netherlands, Valkenburgerweg 177, 6419AT Heerlen, The Netherlands

Abstract: This article reports on a qualitative study about the application of tag clouds for supporting meta-cognition in self-directed and incidental learning. Tag clouds are a popular and simple visualisation of the usage of free form keywords on the internet. The present study analyses the use of the ReScope system that provides a personal tag cloud visualisation of the tags that are used at a public social bookmarking service. ReScope is based on a reflection support use case developed by the TENCompetence project. The study focuses at the types of meta-cognitive control based on reflection notes of the learners. These notes were analysed regarding the contents of the reflections as well as regarding their meta-cognitive type. The study has two important outcomes. Firstly, a personal tag cloud can stimulate reflection on the tagging activity of a learner. Secondly, reflecting on the tagging activity is not built into the design of a tag cloud.

Keywords: self-organised learning; reflection support; tagging; incidental learning; information visualisation; context; metacognition; tag clouds; social bookmarking; electronic learning; online learning; e-learning.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTEL.2011.039064

International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 2011 Vol.3 No.1, pp.61 - 79

Published online: 15 Mar 2011 *

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