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Tools for Improving Assessment through Real Time Data Collection

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1 A collective intelligence application is one that harnesses the knowledge and work of its users to provide the data for the application and to improve its usefulness. The most hyped examples of collective intelligence applications have been labeled as "Web 2.0" applications. Web 2.0 is an amorphous term used to define a computing paradigm that uses the Web as the application platform and facilitates collaboration and information sharing between users [O'Reilly 2005]. Classic examples of Web 2.0 applications include: • Wikis, collective Web sites that allow users to add, edit, and delete content; • Blogs, a Web journal that lets users post news or comments; • Social network services help build and verify online social communities that share common interests; and • Social bookmarking allows users to share bookmark for websites and organize them with tags. Web 2.0 sites are database-driven and are considered to be "infoware," in that, they are data intensive and the more data they contain the more valuable they become [McFedries 2007]. Much of what has been published on Web 2.0 to date has focused on using these new Web 2.0 tools in innovative ways. For example, in early 2005 Motorola created a corporate collaboration infrastructure which includes instant messages (12 million per day) and blogs (2,600 corporate wide), and wikis (3,200 corporate wide). After 18 months of use, Motorola had Motorola's collaboration infrastructure contained 17TB of searchable data [Gibson 2006]. Microsoft and IBM are linking Web 2.0 capabilities with enterprise software. These new tools will allow companies to manipulate and tag their data and to create internal social networks and virtual teams. Collective intelligence is a fundamentally different way of viewing how applications can support human interaction and decision making. Most pre-Web 2.0 applications have focused in improving the productivity or decision making of the individual user. The emphasis has been on providing the tools and data necessary to fulfill a specific job function. Under the collective intelligence paradigm, the focus is on harnessing the intelligence of groups of people to enable greater productivity and better decisions than are possible by individuals working in isolation.
Behavior Chart The final type of tagging available in DDtrac is the semantic tagging of the narrative comments taken as a part of the daily instructional, behavior or socialization observation notes taken by practitioners. These semantic tags closely resemble the tags common on many Web 2.0 sites (e.g. Flickr, Delicious, Blogger etc.). They are freely chosen keywords which allow for overlapping associations and that can be used for later retrieval and analysis of specific comments. For example, a student may exhibit a finger flicking behavior infrequently. The practitioner might note this in the daily notes along with other observations. Then, if the behavior becomes a problem, the practitioner could retrieve all of the comments tagged “flicking” to look for any patterns. Goals & Objectives Wiki. The education programs of developmentally disabled children are defined in an Individual Education Program (IEP), which establishes long-term goals and short-term objectives tailored to the needs of the individual student [Wright et. al. 2007]. The IEP also includes descriptions of the student’s current level of performance, strengths, and individual needs. In most schools this document includes input from several different people including the special education teacher, the regular education teacher, the therapy specialists, the student’s parents and external advocates. The IEP is an important document because it defines the direction for treatment to be taken for the upcoming year.
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Gregg, D. "Developing a Collective Intelligence Application for Special Education," Working paper, (Sept. 2007) (available at http://carbon.cudenver.edu/~dgregg/researc h/greggCI.pdf).
Wikis are alive and Kicking in the Enterprise
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