Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Playing around with Hunch

The first exercise for Week 1 is to try out Hunch site, and answer some questions in the course forum...
Playing around with Hunch
by George Siemens - Sunday, 9 January 2011, 08:24 PM
If you created a Hunch account (week 1 activities: http://learninganalytics.net/syllabus.html#Week_1 , share your reactions with others - were the Hunch recommendations accurate? What are the educational uses of a Hunch-like tool for learning?

In response to this exercise, here is my review:
As the name says: "Hunch"...

Q1: Hunch recommendations - accurate?
I wish to say that it's merely suggesting, out of the analysis done across different aspects of data it retrieves. I noticed that the Books recommended by Hunch are more of those related to the 'idols' or 'people who influence me' in my FB, instead of my choice of answers in the questions.

Even the TV shows it recommends are based on the "type of series" shown, which are family weekly series (probably influenced by my list in FB) instead of my usual preference of movies or non-series base. Recommendations are good, no doubt, but not really what I would go for. I mean, "Star Trek" and the "Big Bang Theory"? Come on... I know I idolise Stephen Hawkings but that doesn't mean I would prefer to watch such series - it's totally dirrent aspect of idolising a person.

Q2: The educational uses of a Hunch-like tool for learning?

One way I could figure, regardless whether it's accurate or not, is the fact that I could predict the type of students I would face in my class. It's something I would do in my own physical class - e.g: I asked my class today (first class with full attendance this sem), of their programme background, just to know what kind of audience I'm facing so that I can relate to them later in my class with my examples, in order for them to understand better on my teachings.

I guess Hunch can be applied in the same manner - not necessarily to be accurate all the time, but averagely acceptable to kickstart a whole new venture of knowing the people you're dealing with in learning and teaching.

Oh ya, it's also about trust. But then again, we can't rely fully on the analysis of Hunch to trust it more than the learners/colleagues. If I put myself in my students' shoes, I would probably believe and rely on data and suggestions given by Hunch to decide whether to trust the student 'next to me'. But as an adult learner and teacher, and also non-digital native, I believe that technology is merely the art of humans, so why must you really rely on it without venturing personally yourself to know for sure whether to trust the person or not.

As mentioned earlier, Hunch predictions/analysis is merely to kickstart whatever you want to do (or decide) next... It's like doing research - it may (or may not be) start from your own "hunch", with some facts lying around in your head, which needs to be sorted out in order to make it more justified and makes more sense.

As a lecturer who is known to be people-person, I believe that Hunch can be used to know another person in order to ease later communication, conveying of message, and setting boundaries to areas within the scope of understanding of the audience/others.

Hope I'm not off-track in my answers. ;D
- Shazz
Kuala Lumpur Time: 2.43AM

Sharing what is learnt, in the process of learning what is shared,
- Shazz @ LAK
11 Jan 2011

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