Models and Theories in Human-Computer Interaction/D.Cog and WikiBooks

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D. Cog and WikiBooks (Tyler Liechty)[edit]

WikiBooks is a collaborative tool that has the capability to perform within the framework proposed by Hitchins. There are clearly many “Sensory Systems” with each collaborator providing input, and the site itself is a good representation of the “System Memory.” The “Processor” is less obvious, seeming to be the moderators of a given post, some of whom have more administrative power to edit or lock sections, but also by the same users providing the raw input to the site. The Transparency gains of a site like WikiBooks lie in the “System Memory” it is possible to track the changes made to the site by any user, and to determine the order and time scale on which these changes were made, in this aspect it is easier to document the changes that it would be if there were just a face to face discussion, or an edited paper draft of an entry.

Unfortunately the WikiBooks format loses transparency in the quality of the “Sensory Systems” or the users adding the raw input. From an avionics background it is often necessary to verify and validate data from sensors, but with the available semi-anonymity of WikiBooks it is hard to know who is adding the data, how credible the person is, or how valid the data entered by the person are. There are likely some protections to this available to prevent large-scale injection of harmful or irrelevant data, but it takes a good “Processor” to sift through the data to find uncited or invalid data.