Search Mastery Speaker Series: “Extract of Techiness”: a study that did not work as intended

Event Start Date: Monday, March 8, 2021 - 12:00 pm

Event End Date: Monday, March 8, 2021 - 1:00 pm

Location: Virtual

Dr. Michael Twidale

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Michael Twidale

Often when we are stuck with a technology we search online for help. Sometimes this works just fine – you type your problem into Google and an answer pops up – sometimes even a ‘how-to’ video. But not always. You may not be sure if you can trust the results, or the ‘answer’ is way too complicated to understand – and sometimes you don’t know what to type in for help because you don’t know the right words to describe your technical need. How come some people (who we often call ‘techies’) seem to be able to find what they need in just seconds, while other people (who often call themselves ‘non-techies’) struggle and get confused and irritated? We did a little study to find out – and it all went wrong. I want to tell you what happened.

Speaker Bio:
Michael Twidale is a Professor in the School of Information Sciences, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests are at the intersection of computer-supported cooperative work, computer-supported collaborative learning, human-computer interaction, and sociotechnical systems design. Current projects include studies of informal social learning of technology, technological appropriation, ubiquitous learning, and problem-solving activities at the intersection of search, learning and creativity. He is interested in how people learn new technologies and new features of existing technologies; how they succeed, fail, struggle, tinker, help their friends, and try to search for tech solutions online. He likes it when things go wrong.

This talk is part of the UMD iSchool Search Mastery Speaker Series, hosted by the Search Mastery Interest Group.

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