On the stupidity of mobs (2006)

This paper explores the implications of social navigation used to assist online learning communities. It presents an experiment in social navigation employing a treasure map, comparing the behavior of users provided with social navigation cues and the behavior of those with no such cues. The experiment suggests that social navigation may cause poor decision-making in its users in two distinct ways. Some users may follow the actions of others (even poor ones), while others may actively try to behave differently. Neither strategy is useful at all times. The paper goes on to discuss approaches to limiting the dangers of such systems. 

Address of the bookmark: http://www.iadis.net/dl/final_uploads/200602C035.pdf

I am a professional learner, employed as a Full Professor and Associate Dean, Learning & Assessment, at Athabasca University, where I research lots of things broadly in the area of learning and technology, and I teach mainly in the School of Computing & Information Systems. I am a proud Canadian, though I was born in the UK. I am married, with two grown-up children, and three growing-up grandchildren. We all live in beautiful Vancouver.

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