547 Project III

Use of WebGrid

Paula Cooper (cooper) Homepage , Mail

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Part 1 - Exploration
  • Part 2 - Elicitation of Constructs on CPSC 547 Topics
  • Part 3 - Elicitation of Constructs on EDI & EFT
  • Conclusion


    This report contains analysis and descriptions of grids created using the WebGrid Elicitation application, an application based on personal construct psychology. An initial grid was created to become familiar with the system, then the CPSC 547 presentation topics were placed in a grid and compared with the grid of a former user, and lastly the EDI and EFT presentation topic was placed in a grid for further analysis.

    Part 1 - Exploration

    Grid Description

    To initially familiarize myself with WebGrid, I created a
    grid comparing various extracurricular activities. The activities (elements) I specified were watching TV, reading, working out, playing sports, drawing, playing board games, playing the piano and shopping. The constructs that I came up with distinguished between these various activities on the basis of intellectual requirements, physical activity, and emphasis on self improvement.

    Initial Impressions

    When I first started using WebGrid I found it fairly user friendly. It was somewhat confusing in the way that constructs can be added through three different methods (triads, distinction between two activities and simplying adding constructs). I found it easiest to simply add constructs, but using the triad method was a good way to provoke thought on what further distinctions might be made between elements. The triad method also informs the user of whether or not elements have been differentiated enough. When using the analysis facilities (PrinCom and FOCUS), I was initially confused because after adding further constructs and pressing the FOCUS button, the grid did not seem to have taken the new constructs into account. I thought that this was because the constructs had not been distinguished, but in fact I simply needed to press the reload button to use the new data.

    Part 2 - Elicitation of Constructs on CPSC 547 Topics

    Creation of Constructs

    Part 2 of this project was to create a
    grid with the CPSC 547 presentation topics as elements and create constructs to distinguish between them. I developed constructs by narrowing down the way I classify the various topics in my mind. In my mind I grouped the programming tools together: visual programming, object oriented programming and cross-platform GUIS. I placed the information repositories together: the information highway, electronic publishing, digital libraries and knowledge-based systems. Lastly I grouped the multimedia applications together: the information highway, multimedia, virtual reality and broadband networks. The way I cognitively organized these items is very apparent in the analysis done by the FOCUS facility. I clearly chose constructs to distinguish between the groupings, such as the applicability towards education, the degree of multimedia used, and the usefulness in industry versus entertainment. Using the triad options I was also able to determine whether items I considered to be very different were in fact being interpreted differently.

    Comparison of Grids

    Having completed the grid on the CPSC 547 presentation topics, I compared my terms and usages with those used by Brian Gaines.

    Consensus and Correspondence:

    Consensus means the use of the same terms for the same usage, and correspondence means the use of different terms for the same usage. It seems that in some of the constructs there are both consensus and correspondence. For example, in my grid I included a construct distinguishing between "Artificial Intelligence" and "Logic Based Programs". Brian's construct of "Intelligent System" versus "Conventional System" corresponds well, and it seems the terms Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent System demonstrate consensus. Similarly I created a construct for "Educational Aid" versus "Not a Learning Tool" and Brian's grid matchs up with the construct "Human-Oriented Tool" versus "System Tool". This case would suggest correspondence between the two grids.


    Many of the constructs in the comparison also appear to contrast, using different terms for different usages. For example, in my grid I specified a construct distinguishing "For Entertainment" versus "For Business", and the ratings for this construct match up with Brian's construct "Novel Communication" versus "Conventional Communication". This is actually an interesting contrast because it supports the idea that businesses use more traditional approaches for communication whereas the entertainment industry tests out the new multimedia and sensory modes of communication.


    Conflict occurs when the same terms are used to express a different meaning. There do not appear to be any cases of conflict apparent between the constructs of the two grids. This suggests that both Brian Gaines and myself are in agreement about the classification of the various presentation topics.

    Part 3 - Elicitation of Constructs on EDI & EFT

    Grid Description

    The final portion of this project entailed creating a
    grid on electronic data interchange (EDI) and electronic funds transfer (EFT). The elements chosen were the main methods of performing data and fund transfer, and they were distinguished through constructs which highlight their applicability to different users as well as their relative advantages and disadvantages.

    Analysis of the Grid with FOCUS

    The FOCUS tool communicates the relationships between various elements in a grid, and also the relationships between constructs. FOCUS groups the most commonly used methods of EDI transfer together, those being VANs and the Internet, both of which use the Store-And-Forward approach. The two methods of EFT, use of Smart Cards and Electronic cash, are also grouped together. The two traditional methods of transfer, use of legal tender and transfer of paper documents, are seen as similar and the two least desirable electrical methods, point-to-point and use of any-to-any mapping, are related in the grid. In relating the constructs it is also of interest that FOCUS related the increased human interaction with slower transfer, physical transfer, difficult rerouting of data and low cost savings. This demonstrates the superlative nature of EDI over traditional transfer methods.

    Analysis of the Grid with PrinCom

    PrinCom seems to emphasize the dependencies between constructs and elements. For example, the "use of legal tender" and "paper document transfer" are located in the same area of the graph as the constructs for "low cost savings", "slow transfer" and "physical transfer". "Electronic data interchange" was placed near the constructs revealing "business documents", "good data integrity" and "automation", all of which are components of EDI.


    Overall, given a list of ideas in the same domain, the WebGrid seems fairly easy to use, and is useful for highlighting relationships between items and constructs. It is useful for providing overall generalizations of how elements can be distinguished, and allows groups of users to ensure that their interpretations are on the same wavelength.

    Table of Contents