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Concept maps in the design of an accessible CinemaSense service

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The purpose of the study was to produce accessible web-based study material concerning cinematic expression, entitled CinemaSense (, suited to those of diverse backgrounds. The design of the web service in question took place in collaboration with two groups of students in two universities. The first Novice Group consisted of seven deaf teacher-training students who use Finnish Sign Language as their first language; they were education majors in a five-year MA programme, preparing them for the primary-level classroom. They were engaged in a two-year web-based study concerning cinematic expression, culminating in making their own documentary. The second Expert Group consisted of five Finnish-speaking students majoring in film who followed their own art school-based curriculum. The participants were asked to draw concept maps concerning cinematic expression several times during the design experiment. The conceptions and structures of the participants' concept maps significantly affected the design of CinemaSense's map-like user interface and assisted in validating design decisions across three iterative cycles. Multi-level evidence gathered at the end of the experiment indicated that the participants in the Novice Group adopted a novice film-maker's perspective on films rather than a film-viewer's perspective. Implications of creating more accessible learning environments are discussed.

Keywords: Computer Supported Collaborative Learning; accessibility; art education; design research; film studies; inclusion; multimodality; usability; web-based learning material

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Media Lab, University of Art and Design Helsinki (TaiK). 2: Department of Education, University of Helsinki.

Publication date: 2009-09-01

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