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Introduction
 

As a student from Generation 19, under the guidance of Dr. James, our first assignment was to do self-observation on our process of learning to cope with new information behaviors.  Dr. James assigned a series of tasks which would slowly introduce new users to becoming internet literate.  Throughout each of the tasks it was required that I fill out a pre- and post- rating for every task that I did, record any errors that I made or neglected, and make notes of my feelings and orientation while I tried to complete this task. 

I had previously taken a class from Dr. James, during the spring semester of 2003.  I was a part of Generation 18 which also required us to become Internet Literate.  I faced the stress and frustration of coping with learning new information last semester, therefore I did not have to go through the entire learning process again.  Since I have been in constant contact with computers since last semester, many of the tasks that I had to do were quite simple. 

The purpose of this assignment was to analyze the many separate steps it took to complete each of the tasks involved.  Including steps involving asking people for help, looking up help instructions, trial and error attempts, etc.  The point was to remain objective and valid.  Therefore is was essential to base my analysis on notes I had previously taken while completing the tasks. 

I will describe the characteristics of my information behaviors which include the following;

My Affective information behaviors (feelings, emotions, intentions, and reactions, etc.)

My Cognitive information behaviors (thoughts, thinking sequences, strategies, plans, interpretations, etc.)

 

 

Task 1

Registering and Sending Email to the Instructor

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Task 1  08/26/03

Steps

Affective Information Behavior Cognitive Information Behavior
1. Fill out Pre-ratings I also felt pretty relieved to see that the Pre-ratings are much shorter. I knew how the Pre-ratings were like from Generation 18 and these Pre-ratings were much shorter. 
2. Go to the Web and register as a Lab User for this class. I felt really confident and motivated to complete this task.  It is just annoying that it takes so long to get a response This task should be no problem.
3. Send email to the instructor. I memorized the email address from last semester so I felt pretty confident that this task should be even faster to complete. This is going to be such an easy task. 
4. Fill out Post-ratings I was pretty happy that the forms were much more shorter, but disappointed that now there are two of these things.   huh? damn there are two of these things now.

 

 

Analysis of Errors for Task 1

(Error rating based on a 10 point likert scale.   10= Extremely Severe Error  1= Extremely Minor Error)

Description of Error Error Rating (1-10) Cause of Error Solution for Error
When I first turned on the computer the volume was turned up all the way and the introduction melody for my computer scared me.

1

I think my brother set me up because he used the computer last.  Or it could just be that he accidently forgot to turn down to volume. I should check the volume on the speakers before I turn on the computer to avoid this.  Yet no matter how many times that happens I still forget to check sometimes and it really freaks me out at night. 
I typed in the wrong class address and ended at Generation 18's page.

3

I did not look at the syllabus to read the new class home page. I should read the instructions much more closely in the future.
Dr. James did not receive my email.   That would be a big problem because that is a fairly big part of the task.

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Last semester I just memorized Dr. James email address.  Although when I double checked the address I realized that the address I typed in was missing an "i" at the end of the address.  After I sent the email to Dr. James I immediately logged off the computer.  I did not check my email very frequently, so I did not realize that the email got bounced back with an error. This would not have happened if I had already had the address saved.  I felt too confident that I did not even bother to think about the response message because I just assumed that it was received.  I now check my email at least once a day, to avoid things such as this. 
Unfortunately for me I was too confident and did not double check my work.  Even though it turned out fine in the end, it really made me confused as to why Dr. James had not received my email.  If I had checked to make sure that the email had gotten received then I could have eliminated one major error.  At the beginning of the semester I would only check my email a couple times out of the week.  Now I check it at least once a day.  

 

 

Task 2

Posting My First Week's Web Discussion Messages

 

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9/10/03

The first two messages that I had to post was one research posting, and one response to another classmates research posting.  The first topic that I did research on was multitasking while driving.  I chose this topic because lately I have been hearing about so many people getting into serious car accidents.   Therefore I’m pretty sure that I could relate well to this topic, considering how many accidents I have already been in and how many near misses I have encountered.

 

The only problem that I faced while trying to log on to WebCT, was trying to log on.  I has been a couple of months since I last used WebCT, so I forgot my password.   I sat in front of the computer for at least 10 minutes trying to figure out my password.  The first few tries did not bother me.  Slowly after each failure my anxiety level began to rise and I started vigorously typing anything that I could think of.  After many failed attempts I finally logged on.  Posting my messages was no problem.  I have RoadRunner so connecting and making my posts are very fast, and I could quickly see it all.

 

 

Task 2
Steps Affective Information Behavior Cognitive Information Behavior
1)    Fill out your Pre-ratings I feel a bit worried because I do not remember if I still remember my user name and password.  I hate opening up a new account.  The hardest part about this task is remembering my User Name and password.  I still cannot remember.  
2)    Register at WebCT I feel a bit annoyed because I cannot remember my password.  I feel even more annoyed because I do not remember the answer to the question. At least I remembered my User Name.
3) Post my two messages Success!  Finally after many failed attempts I finally remembered my Password.  Posting two messages should be no problem.  I noticed that the topics that we have to research is not too general.   That makes doing the research a little less time consuming.
4)    I went to Google.com to search for my topic. I hope there is going to be reliable information about this topic.  I do not want to make my search terms too general, or else I may get topics too off track.
5) I returned back to WebCt and posted my first message and response. I feel pretty good because I am doing this task with no problems.  There are also much more detailed instructions for posting messages. 
Fill out my Post-rating I feel pretty good because I remembered my password after many, many failed attempts.  This task was pretty routine.  It did not cause me any grief.  Finding an article was pretty easy because the topics are much more specific, and there is less chance of always seeing the same articles come up for the same topic. 

 

 

 Analysis of Errors for Task 2

(Error rating based on a 10 point likert scale.  10= Extremely Severe Error  1= Extremely Minor Error)

Description of Error Error Rating (1-10) Cause of Error Solution for Error
       
I could not remember my Password.  This was making me very annoyed. I hate it when I cannot remember my password.  I had to change my normal email accounts so many times already because I could not remember my Password, and I could never remember the answer to the hint. 

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I should write it down, but so many people use the same computer that I am using right now it.  The wrong eyes may see it.  I am just too paranoid and always change my passwords, therefore if I do not go to a certain account I always forget the Password.  It is not too safe to use the same thing for every account. I just need to write it down on a piece of paper.   That would ensure that I do not forget.  It is just too time consuming typing things over and over again.
       

 

 

Task 3

Exploring the Generational Curriculum

 

10/01/03

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Task 3 required each one of us to explore the Generational Curriculum.  Although I was only supposed to explore the generational curriculum for only about 30 min I ended up zoning out and spent over an hour going through all the prior generations work.  When I started this task I had just finished work and I was so tired I did not think that I would even finish going through all the generations in one sitting.  But as soon as I got started, I just kept clicking away.  It was really interesting because I could slowly see the generations evolve and become more advanced as the programs and computers got better.  Some pages had some really funky colors and backgrounds that made reading though a bit difficult.

 

 

 

Task 3
  Affective Information Behavior Cognitive Information Behavior
1)   Fill out your Pre-ratings I am so stressed out and tired right now.  I just want to go to sleep. I really have to finish this task. 
2)    Explore the Generational Curriculum. This task feels at little overwhelming.  Just thinking about all the pages I have to look through is really making me want to take a little sleep break. There are so many pages to look at.  I do not know where to begin.   I think I'll start from Gen. 1 and work my way down.
3)   Fill out your Post-ratings I was pretty surprised to notice how much time I spent looking throgh all the prior generations. There were so many pages to look through.  It was interesting to see how the eariler pages had so many distracting things on the page, and slowly the pages became much easier to view. 

 

 

 Analysis of Errors for Task 3

(Error rating based on a 10 point likert scale.  10= Extremely Severe Error  1= Extremely Minor Error)

Description of Error Error Rating (1-10) Cause of Error Solution for Error
A bunch of links did not work. 3 The pages are pretty old and have not been recently updated, so it's pretty obvious to find many broken links. That's life.  Can't fix all the problems in life, just have to live with it. 
The speakers were turned all the way up again when I started the computer.  That is really beginning to annoy me because I always remember to turn it down when I am done using the computer.  4 I am beginning to think that my brother is just very inconsiderate for leaving the speakers turned all the way up.  I should just make sure that the speakers are turned all the way up next time he uses the computer. 
       

 

 

 

 

Task 4

Publishing my Home Page and Report 1

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10/15/03

 

Task 4 required that I first fill out a pre-rating.  Next I had to create a Home Page and upload it to the class folder.   This task was no problem because I had already done this last semester.  The task was much easier because I used Front Page to create my web pages.  The only problem with Front Page was that it has no spell checker, so I had to constantly cut and paste these paragraphs that you see back into Microsoft word to make sure I did not have any spelling errors.  Another annoying part about Front Page was when you click on a different part of the page the font would sometimes change to a different size or font

 

I had some ideas from exploring previous students' pages, about how I wanted my home page to look like.  Although it was simple I spent a lot of time working on the banner.  I would keep playing with all the different setting in the photo editor program to make my banners.  After experimenting with all sorts of different colors and pictures I decided how I wanted to make my banner. 

 

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After I did that I wanted to try and make little banners for the different links on my page.

 

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Task 4

  Affective Information Behavior Cognitive Information Behavior
1)    Fill out your Pre-ratings I am just really, really tired from work and school. I know that I can do this task with out much troubles.
2)    Create your Home Page I began to get into making another web page and did not feel as tired. I remembered other people's past sites and tried to build on top of that.
3)    upload it to your class folder I feel confident that this should be no problem. I'm glad that I still have the WSFTP program. 
4)    Go the Web and check your Home Page. I felt much less anxiety once I seen that my page had been successfully uploaded. It looks like it could be improved much more.
5)    Create your Report 1 I hope my notes that I took are good enough. I got all my notes in front of me so this task should go smoothly.
6)  upload Report 1 I felt a little confused because my pictures did not work.  It took me awhile to mess around and figure out that my address for the link was incomplete.   I I kept trying to make other pages to see if I could fix the problem, but no matter what I did the pictures would still not upload.  Finally I found out that the address that I was typing in for the link to the picture was incomplete because it was missing "http://"
7)    After everything works fine, fill out Post-ratings. Once I finally figured out what was wrong with my links and pictures, I felt much  anxious.  It felt really good to have everything up and working fine. I wonder if I left out anything? 
8)    Edit your Report 1 This is really going to take a long time. I better look at the instructions and highlight all the main points.
9)  Upload the final version of your Report 1. I am feeling really grouchy because I have been working on this task for so long and I am really, really tired. I need to get some sleep and take a break.

 

 Analysis of Errors for Task 4

(Error rating based on a 10 point likert scale.  10= Extremely Severe Error  1= Extremely Minor Error)

 

 

Description of Error Error Rating (1-10) Cause of Error Solution for Error
Pictures would not show up. 4 I did not realize that the letters to type are cAsE Senisitive. I had to fix it from JPG to jpg.
Links would not work. 5 When I clicked on the little globe link, to make a link, I unconsiously paste the address with 2 "http:" because Front Page already has it put there. I had to just delete those extra letters.
Pictures still did not work 6 The location was not correct. I had to upload my picture all into the same folder, then put the address of the image after it was uploaded to the web.
Uploaded wrong version of Report 1 10 Whenever I modify an assignment I do not overwrite the previous version.  Just in case something may happen.  When I uploaded my files I accidentally uploaded the report from the wrong file. I should really double check my work because that could have been a really bad mistake if I had uploaded the first version of Report 1.

 

Data Table
This is the data tables for the first four tasks that I completed.  The ratings are based on a 10 point likert scale, with 1 being equavalent to "Least agree" and 10 being equavalent to "Strongly agree".

 

 

Questions Task #1 Task #2 Task #3 Task #4
Pre-Rating Post-Rating Pre-Rating Post-Rating Pre-Rating Post-Rating Pre-Rating Post-Rating
2. Mood 10 9 10 10 2 5 6 4
5. Importance of succeeding at this task 3 1 10 10 8 10 10 10
6. Expected difficulty in performing task 1 1 2 1 10 1 4 4
7. Amount of upset if failed at task 1 1 4 8 8 2 8 6
8. Degree of certainty in completing task 10 10 10 10 10 10 7 10
9. Likelihood of becoming good at task 10 10 10 10 10 10 9 10
10. Main reason for completing task B B B B B B B B
11. Amount of motivation to complete task 3 2 10 10 10 10 10 10
12. Computers make it easier to perform the task 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
13. Expected amount of effort to complete task 1 1 10 2 10 2 10 6

 

Conclusion
When I finished I was just stunned at how much time I spent exploring the previous student’s sites, building my page and banner, uploading etc..  For that short time it had my complete attention.  All the noise and problems that could not get out of my head were gone, from that first click of the mouse.  It still amazes me how much time people such as myself, spend in front of this glass screen.  On the internet people lose a sense of time.  Things are happening at light speed; you make a card payment, view your mail, buy whatever you want, and write your report for your psychology 409b class.    Everything has been tied to this imaginary world that we all have created.   A world where people can see past the physical exterior, and admire others who they truly are on the inside, or created based on what they want you to believe.

Before I started this task I felt that the first few tasks were quite simple, therefore I began to delay when I would start my Report 1.  By the time I started this assignment, I was already stressed out because of everything else that I had to deal with, and was even more stressed out because of putting off this report for so long.  By the time I finished this report I felt so much better, yet a bit uneasy. 

As I come near the end of the semester and I finally finished my final revision of this report.  I feel so proud of myself and feel like I accomplished so much.  Throughout the entire semester I felt so nervous becuase I was so stressed out about the due date for this report and many others, yet unsure whether or not my report was missing any key parts.  By the time I finished for the first time, I felt so relieved because all those tasks put a lot on my mind. 

I feel really greatful for having the opportunity to participate in this project.  I know for a fact that this is definately not the last time that I am going to be using a computer.  I predict that in the future that people who choose not to learn to use the computer is going to get left behind.   Those with the skills and knowledge to use the computer are the ones who will advance in their careers. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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