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How to write an affordance description?

February 1, 2007

Today i got an idea that to be able to write down the pedagogical affordances of social software, we need the affordance-writing rules.

Affordances are not objective properties of the software. Rather they are properties that are relative and dependent of the subjects who perform some activities with the tools or artifacts that support them to realise their objectives.

Gibson (1977) distinguishes between the affordances of the environment and the effectivities of the subjects. The relationship of the subject with certain effectivities performing some actions in this environment with some tools or artifacts, and the environment with certain affordances enables each person to perceive a unique set of affordances related to the environment. The perception of affordances is dynamically changing during the activity.

Gibson, J.J. (1977). The theory of affordances. In R. Shaw & J. Bransford (eds.), Perceiving, Acting and Knowing. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Thus, the three imoprtant elements of affordance description are:
SUBJECT (effectivities e.g. objectives what to do);
ACTIVITY, ACTION; OPERATION (how to realise objectives);
MEDIATOR (ENVIRONMENT, TOOL, ARTIFACT) (affordances e.g. properties that support/hinder to reach the objectives through certain actions).

Earlier i have referred to one great article about affordances in this blog:
https://tihane.wordpress.com/2006/12/19/
revisiting-the-concept-of-affordances-in-the-light-of-activity-theory/

Recently i made some attempts to intuitively describe the pedagogical affordances of social software functions. I stumbled into the fuzzy set of soft ontology of pedagogical affordances. Initially i believed that these affordance descriptions might be decreased into specific categories. However, my trial failed quite soon realising that i need certain canonical way how to write down the descriptions..a set of affordance rules.

Now my conclusion is that affordance description should involve AT LEAST 2 OR 3 components:
ACTION VERB; SUBJECT NOUN – e.g. TRACK_PERSON; CONNECT_COMMUNITY

ACTION VERB; ARTIFACT NOUN – e.g. COMMENT_ARTIFACT

ACTION VERB; SUBJECT NOUN; ARTIFACT NOUN – e.g. REUSE_COMMUNITY_ARTIFACT

ACTION VERB; SUBJECT NOUN; SUBJECT ADJECTIVE – e.g. REFLECT_COMMUNITY_MEANING

ACTION VERB; ARTIFACT NOUN, ARTIFACT ADJECTIVE – e.g. SHARE_AGGREGATED_ARTIFACT

ACTION VERB; ACTIVITY NOUN – e.g. CAPTURE_LECTURE; RECORD_BRAINSTORMING

ACTION VERB, ACTIVITY NOUN, ACTIVITY ADJECTIVE (SUBJECT OR ARTIFACT RELATED PROPERTY) – e.g. PRESENT_LECTURE_ONE’TO’MANY; REGULATE_AUHENTIC_PROBLEM’SOLVING

—————————————————————————————
Next, I am presenting the list of affordances:

Social bookmarking, tagging, folksonomies, tagclouds

Affordances:
publish_personal’group_artifacts
add_personal’group_artifacts
delete_personal’group_artifact
present_meaningful_artifacts
access_personal’group_artifacts
assemble_personal’group_artifacts
connect_personal’group_artifacts
share_personal’group_artifacts;
find_personal’group_artifacts;
reflect_personal’group_artifacts;
follow_personal’group_artifacts
assess_personal’group_artifacts;
visualise_personal’group_artifacts
search_personal’group_artifacts
link_personal’group_artifacts
tag_personal_group artifacts
reorganise_personal’group_artifacts
monitor_personal’group_artifacts
analyze_personal’group_artifacts

record_personal’group_meanings
analyze_personal’group_meaning_ambiguity
search_community_meanings
present_community_meanings
find_community_meanings
construct_community_meanings
monitor_community_meanings
analyze_community_meanings
reflect_community_meanings
visualize_community_meanings

assemble_artifact_community
asemble_meaning_community

present_lecture_artifacts
present_exercise_artifacts
present_tutorial_artifacts
present_seminar_artifacts
present_problem_artifacts
present_test_artifacts
present_portfolio_artifacts

present_lecture_artifacts
present_exercise_artifacts
present_tutorial_artifacts
present_seminar_artifacts
present_problem_artifacts
present_test_artifacts
present_portfolio_artifacts

present_lecture_artifacts
present_exercise_artifacts
present_tutorial_artifacts
present_seminar_artifacts
present_problem_artifacts
present_test_artifacts
present_portfolio_artifacts

find_lecture_artifacts
find_exercise_artifacts
find_tutorial_artifacts
find_seminar_artifacts
find_problem_artifacts
find_test_artifacts
find_portfolio_artifacts

reflect_lecture_artifacts
reflect_exercise_artifacts
reflect_tutorial_artifacts
reflect_seminar_artifacts
reflect_problem_artifacts
reflect_test_artifacts
reflect_portfolio_artifacts

same with monitor, analyse, assess, report, illustrate

———————————————————————-
Each pedagogical design exploits specific pedagogical affordances of the system.
For instance; Martin’s tagging and tagcloud activity is built upon some of the pedagogical affordances listed above.

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One comment

  1. Free tools with nice function categorization
    http://www.janeknight.com/Directory/guide.html



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