[etoys-dev] Re: [squeakland] Re: the reasons for ranking

Karl Ramberg karlramberg at gmail.com
Wed Sep 30 15:25:44 EDT 2009

On 2009-09-30 17:20, Kim Rose wrote:
> Hey, John,
> Nice to see you are still around and interested -- hope you are doing 
> well.   Thanks for the comments.
> As for me and Viewpoints -- there is one reason only for ranking and 
> that is filtering in an attempt to bring the best educational examples 
> and those illustrative of etoys' strengths to the attention of the 
> community.   So, I,  for one, am hoping that those "voting" are not 
> voting for any particular child, author or person, but for the example 
> itself -- I hope those voting/ranking are asking "is this a fine 
> exemplar to help teach a concept, principle, or powerful idea?".   The 
> more the example answers back with a "yes" the higher the rank.  Also, 
> the more complete an example the higher the rank.  How disclosing of 
> what the Etoy is meant to do is in the example?  Does it have an 
> explanation of what it is?  If it is a game does it have instruction 
> on how to play and the goal of the game?

A googlish way of ranking is to use links/ references to a projects.
If teachers/users could make a group or curriculum of projects on the 
site, we could rank from the refs to projects.

I tried to rank a few project, but it's quite hard to do. There are to 
many things to consider.
I'm not a teacher, so for me to rank appropriateness of a project for a 
classroom situation is not really realistic


> I hope that teachers who encourage their students to upload projects 
> will *only* allow sharing if their student provides  an "About" flap, 
> or some intro/explanation of the Etoy and some instruction on where to 
> start, the aim of the project, etc.  The most beautiful simulation of 
> something will fall completely flat with someone if they have no real 
> idea of what they are looking at or what the script they are playing 
> with is meant to do. Etoys are intended to teach and help us learn; 
> learning cannot occur without context.  No author should assume their 
> project will be self disclosing; it will not.  Our users have a 
> variety of levels of expertise in both Etoys and subject matter areas; 
> providing more context can only help.
> If there is no "ranking" in place and everything is posted the 
> offerings soon get overwhelming and most difficult to navigate.  We 
> found this years ago when we had an active "super-swiki".  Projects 
> that were no more than a single sketch with no script at all were 
> posted and only "muddied the waters" for those wading in an attempt to 
> find something with some meaningful content.
> I hope the community will bear this in mind when "ranking" what gets 
> uploaded and understand that not everyone can be represented in a 
> featured showcase.
>  -- Kim
> On Sep 30, 2009, at 7:58 AM, voiklis wrote:
>> Hello all,
>> I apologize for joining this conversation so late; I am a longtime, 
>> though recently quiet, member of the community.
>> I understand that the ranking system is an attempt to enable people 
>> to judge the quality of a contribution (or contributor) based on some 
>> directly observable measure of reputation. On first sight, one could 
>> argue that such a system overcomes the problem that in the 
>> face-to-face world reputation is not directly observable. In order to 
>> get an honest assessment of a person's reputation, one has to invest 
>> a lot of time building trust with the people familiar with that 
>> person. Even then, a trustworthy assessment requires direct 
>> observation of the person's actions.
>> A ranking system would appear to reduce that effort by half; knowing 
>> the person's reputation among his/her peers, one only needs to assess 
>> the work.
>> The problem with that reasoning is that electronic ranking systems 
>> are highly susceptible to manipulation. Building reputation becomes 
>> the goal of the activity for many people and they use all sorts of 
>> seemingly harmless social and technological means to inflate their 
>> numbers. Our lab has been studying this phenomenon through both 
>> observational studies of online communities and laboratory 
>> experiments. The two papers below report on the phenomenon as it 
>> presents itself in Digg, the news aggregation site.
>> The first paper demonstrates that a tit-for-tat game of reciprocity 
>> inflates the reputation of contributors and their contributions 
>> without reflecting anything substantive about their contributions. 
>> The second paper really brings out the negative consequences of this 
>> phenomenon. The paper reports on an experiment where people judged 
>> how interesting they found the contribution. The ranking values of 
>> the articles were set by the investigator; sometime the rank of the 
>> article was set high, at other times low. Experimental subjects rated 
>> higher-ranked contributions as more interesting than lower ranked 
>> contributions. The same article was rated as highly interesting when 
>> its rank was set high and uninteresting when ranked low. Duncan Watts 
>> (of small-world networks fame) observed the same phenomenon with 
>> music rating.
>> What this means in the present discussion is that people will likely 
>> ignore low ranking contributions. Worse still, when they do actually 
>> look at those contributions they are likely to see what the ranking 
>> value led them to expect rather than the qualities of the 
>> contribution itself.
>> Unless we can find scientific research that demonstrates any benefits 
>> to ranking, I think we should be wary of using such systems.
>> All best,
>> John
>> Sadlon, E., Sakamoto, Y., Dever, H. J., & Nickerson, J. V. (2008). 
>> The karma of Digg: Reciprocity in online social networks. In R. Gopal 
>> and R. Ramesh (Eds.), Proceedings of the 18th Annual Workshop on 
>> Information Technologies and Systems. 
>> http://cog.mgnt.stevens-tech.edu/~yasu/papers/reciprocity.pdf
>> Sakamoto, Y., Ma, J., & Nickerson, J. V. (2009). 2377 people like 
>> this article: The influence of others' decisions on yours. In N. 
>> Taatgen, H. van Rijn, L. Schomaker, and J. Nerbonne (Eds.), 
>> Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science 
>> Society.http://cog.mgnt.stevens-tech.edu/~yasu/papers/cogscidigg1.pdf
>> Salganik, M. J., Dodds, P. S., and Watts, D. J. (2006). Experimental 
>> study of inequality and unpredictability in an artificial cultural 
>> market. Science, 311(5762):854-856. 
>> http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1121066[/url]
>> -------------------- m2f --------------------
>> (from forum)
>> http://squeakland.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=11554#11554
>> -------------------- m2f --------------------
>> _______________________________________________
>> squeakland mailing list
>> squeakland at squeakland.org
>> http://lists.squeakland.org/mailman/listinfo/squeakland
> Viewpoints Research is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to 
> improving "powerful ideas education" for the world's children and 
> advancing the state of systems research and personal computing. Please 
> visit us online at www.vpri.org
> _______________________________________________
> Squeakland mailing list
> Squeakland at squeakland.org
> http://lists.squeakland.org/mailman/listinfo/squeakland

More information about the etoys-dev mailing list