Week in Review | 32-23

August 11, 2023 Off By JR

This week has been pretty cool for me. I’ve been jamming to all sorts of music, and Soundcloud has suggested some great songs. Plus, I’ve been reading up on conversation theory and how it can help with learning. It’s a completely different angle on much of the instructional design research I’ve investigated previously. I’ve also been listening to some thought-provoking and humourous podcasts. Stay tuned for more updates!

What I’m Listening to


What I’m Reading

Luppicini, R. (2008). Introducing conversation design. In Handbook of conversation design for instructional applications (pp. 1-18). IGI Global.

Discusses conversation theory’s origin and emergence as a field. "Conversational processes are continuing processes that contain social, cognitive, and emotive information representing (guiding/affecting/influencing) what agents do and feel in specific situations. Agents and processes may occur within an individual, between individuals, between and individual and artificial entities, and between artificial entities."

Conversation design is based on current theories of mind and constructivist cybernetic theory. One key contribution of the latter is the rejection of the idea that mental life involves transferring information between individuals separated from the real world. Instead, what we know results from conversations we have with ourselves and others about our experiences. This makes conversation central to individual meaning and social reality. Conversation design is also contextually sensitive, accommodates technological mediation, and emphasizes the need for individuals to adjust their conversations to changing contexts of experience continually.

Holland, J., & Childress, M. (2008). Conversation Theory Conceptualized in E-Learning Environments. In Handbook of Conversation Design for Instructional Applications (pp. 80-90). IGI Global.

Gordon Pask’s Conversation Theory is compared to E-learning literature. "Conversation" and "dialogue" are defined as exchanging info between instructors and students. Pask’s theory focuses on exchanging info between humans and computers.

Generative Textbooks – David Wiley

David only gave themselves an hour to write this, so it’s more of a collection of thoughts than a clear story. They are amazed by the creative uses people have found for generative AI, and it seems like new ones are constantly being discovered. For instance, a cybersecurity student used an AI assistant to practice for a job interview, which was helpful. They are also interested in how generative AI can change teaching and learning. Instead of traditional textbooks, sets of prompts could allow learners to interact with a large language model. These "generative textbooks" could provide overviews, explanations, examples, and interactive practice. They think they could revolutionize education and change how people use open educational resources.

Generative Textbooks – A Brief Example – David Wiley

The concept of "generative textbooks" was introduced in another post. Essentially, instead of providing instructional content, generative textbooks offer prompts that allow learners to elicit information from a language model like ChatGPT. An example of a section from a traditional textbook on sleep was given, and a generative version was provided with open-ended, automatically graded formative assessments. The effectiveness of generative textbooks compared to traditional ones is not yet clear, but potential hypotheses include increased engagement, deeper exploration of content, and better outcomes for students. It’s important to remember that there are other educational activities beyond textbooks.


The Spamming of Certification with Bobbi Losee Vernon – TLDCast

Frank Lorenzo: The Man Who Ruined Air Travel – Behind the Bastards (part 1) (part 2)

Improving Training Videos Using Neuroscience with Patti Shank – #IDIODC

#909 What’s-a Meta with Canadian News? – Canadaland

334: Acoustic attacks, and the tears of a crypto rapper – Smashing Security