How can we build tools to support complex tasks like essay-writing?
To study this question, we built Write Reason, which combines a mapping interface with a writing interface, and links them bidirectionally. You can drag parts of the map into the text, and parts of the text into the map. We then studied how people use this multi-representational tool to write essays.
We found that important cognitive work happens not just in the map or text, but in the transformation process that moves between them. Lots of tools try to support the building of individual representations like maps and text, but less attention has been paid to supporting the move between them.
To inform the design of future tools for transformations, we studied the properties of transformations, different ways they unfold, and how these affect the outcomes of the complex essay-writing task.
✍ Write Reason: a free-form tool for mapping and writing, where the map and text are linked.
📜 Representational transformations: Using maps to write essays
Adam Binks, Alice Toniolo, Miguel Nacenta. Bibtex