The Alpha Stages of Easymap

Psychology

Summary:

Easymap is a web application being developed by Dr. Butler and his company in an effort to solve several issues with current test taking.

Problem:

  • multiple choice questions have too high of an error (i.e. badly phrased question or complete guessing regardless of personal knowledge)
  • Using open-ended questions, to control for the above issue, is largely limited to using an essay format
  • Those with a talent for language or writing tend to get higher scores on essays than those without, regardless of actual knowledge on the subject.

Solution:

  • Easymap minimizes the affect of language on displaying knowledge through mind mapping technology

Criticisms:

  • prior training for using essay format may put some at a disadvantage since they would have to re-learn , thereby accentuating the learning curve of the new software
  • how would these tests be graded?

Background:

For those of you who don’t already know, Dr. Butler is a psychology professor I view as my mentor, in large part due to his ability to integrate internet programming with psychology. I often stay after class to talk with him about the technology being implemented in the process.

I most recently talked about alternatives to what he is currently using to graph the mind map. He is currently using Canviz as a graphing utility and, although I’m not sure how exactly it works, it does possess some significant limitations. I was suggesting using vector graphics (SVG, to be specific) which could be optimized as all get-out and still provide small enough data transfer to leave a negligible footprint in the bandwidth. He rebutted with the feasibility of learning an entirely new technology if there’s no guarantee it’ll be used again.

What do you think?

On a semi-related note, I see a lot of new hits on this blog so I’ve decided to take advantage of that. Below is a poll and I’d appreciate it if you, the visitors, would help me understand what modern users prefer.

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