learning portfolio 4 – activity





The Conversation is a news and opinion site that was founded in a partnership between the CSIRO and several high-profile universities.  It offers news and opinion pieces which are well-referenced and can be cited.  It is reputable enough to be cited by ABC news, which vouches for the quality of content. Having read it for some time the articles are always written to a high standard, and although opinion is offered it is always backed up with supporting research.

conversation founding partners




IMDB – The Internet Movie Database – is a website that I have been visiting for many years, and it has always provided accurate information.  It lists extensive information about movies and tv shows and the production crew and actors involved.





Getup! is a non-profit petition website wherein different organizations and charities can host petitions and donation drives. I have not used it personally but have seen various friends on Facebook sharing different petitions for many years, so I presume it is credible.




daily life.png

Daily Life is a website I have never really used, but I am aware of because I follow the work of some of the contributors on Facebook who cross-post their articles. On the surface it looks life a well-designed, professionally run news and opinion website. It follows the standard pattern of a typical news site, and is easily skimmed and navigated.


learning portfolio 4 – Q2


Wikipedia is not a credible resource for academic assignments because anyone can contribute or update entries.  This means that “Users may be reading information that is outdated or that has been posted by someone who is not an expert in the field or by someone who wishes to provide misinformation” (Harvard University, 2016).  Much of the information on Wikipedia may be correct and up to date, but there is no guarantee of this, and sometimes entries are trolled with misinformation, malicious content or joke entries.  However the site does employ editors and unlike print sources “errors can be corrected and often are in a matter of hours” (Ghajar, 2010-2016).  Therefore it is up to the reader to use their own discretion and assess whether the presented information seems credible.

Wikipedia is a useful resource for familiarizing oneself with a topic.  It is best used as a launching point for further research using credible resources.  In fact, the founder of Wikipedia himself stated in an interview with Business Week that “People shouldn’t be citing encyclopedias in the first place. Wikipedia and other encyclopedias should … give good, solid background information to inform your studies for a deeper level.” (Ghajar, 2010-2016).  Whilst Wikipedia is not a credible resource, it can be a valuable learning tool in the beginning stages of research.  Entries may also provide references which are credible and usable in an academic context.



Ghajar, L. A. (2010-2016). Wikipedia: Credible Research Source or Not? TeachingHistory.org.  Retrieved from http://teachinghistory.org/digital-classroom/ask-a-digital-historian/23863

Harvard University. (2016). Evaluating Web Sources. Harvard Guide to Using Sources: A Publication of the Harvard College Writing Program.  Retrieved from http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k70847&pageid=icb.page346375


learning portfolio 4 – Q1


It is important to evaluate the credibility of the websites you are using in order to make sure that the information is true and relevant.  The credibility of your sources affects the credibility of your own work.  Fogg describes credibility as a combination of two elements: trustworthiness and expertise (2003, p. 123). Trustworthiness is the perceived goodness or moral worth of the source.  Expertise is described as the perceived knowledge or skill level of the source.  For credibility to be achieved, both trustworthiness and expertise are necessary.

The Harvard University Guide to Using Sources website recommends assessing web resources to “determine the author’s credentials as well as the purpose and rationale for posting the site in the first place.” (Harvard University, 2016).  John Hopkins University recommends considering how “’fresh’ or ‘dusty’” (John Hopkins University Library, 2016) the source is.  For instance if the resource is older, newer research may have since been published which disproves earlier theories.

When completing assignments as a student, I have always been told that websites are not acceptable as references, as they are not considered credible.  However I often do preliminary research via websites, using resources like Wikipedia for a general rundown on a subject, and searching individual questions I may have.  I then use that knowledge base to guide my primary research via the ECU catalogue.  So it is important that the websites I am using for my initial research are credible.  If they contain untrue or misleading information then I will have an incorrect understanding of the research topic, and may find further research difficult.



Fogg, B. J. (2003). Persuasive technology: using computers to change what we think and do. Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.

Harvard University. (2016). Evaluating Web Sources. Harvard Guide to Using Sources: A Publication of the Harvard College Writing Program.  Retrieved from http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k70847&pageid=icb.page346375

John Hopkins University Library. (2016). Evaluating Internet Resources. Evaluating Information.  Retrieved from http://guides.library.jhu.edu/c.php?g=202581&p=1334997

learning portfolio 3 – Q3


Psychological research is necessary to good design because we process design mentally.  Psychologists study learning and cognition processes, and designers can use that research in conjunction with design principles, to craft the most effective design.  In Cognitive Load Theory, Sweller asserts that “Different categories of knowledge may be acquired, organised and stored in different ways and require different instructional procedures. Understanding how we deal with different categories of knowledge is a requirement in determining which aspects of human cognition are important from an instructional design perspective” (Sweller et al., 2011, p. 3). That is, if designers understand how people learn, they can choose the optimal design method to communicate information, so that consumers will learn effectively.




Sweller, J., Ayres, P. L., Kalyuga, S., & Ebook, L. (2011). Cognitive load theory (Vol. 1). New York: Springer.

learning portfolio 3 – Q1


Performance load refers to how much mental and physical effort is required to achieve a task.  More difficult tasks have a higher rate of errors, and take longer to complete, with the chance of success decreasing with the level of difficulty and vice versa.  There are two types of performance load: cognitive load and kinematic load.

Cognitive load is how much mental activity is required to complete a task, via perception, memory and problem-solving.   Cognitive load can be reduced by ‘chunking’ information, using memory aids, and automating task.  For example, in the classroom, “a well-run, interesting lesson based on explicit instruction is almost invariably going to result in better learner outcomes than a chaotic, poorly designed inquiry-based lesson” (Sweller, Ayres, Kalyuga, & Ebook, 2011, p. 229). Or in web design, “users can be fatigued by overly complex, annoying sites” (Dawson, 2011, p. 170).

Kinematic load “represents the amount of physical activity required … to complete a job” (Concepts, 2016). Morse code is an example of simplifying the physical demands of a task.

Designers should “apply sound instructional design principles based on our knowledge of the brain and memory” (Learning-Theories, 2016), and eliminate unnecessary information, chunk important information, provide memory aids and reduce steps in order to reduce performance load.




Concepts, D. O. (2016). Designing Your Office to Reduce Your Work Load Through Cognitive Science. 90 Degree Office Concepts.  Retrieved from http://90degreeofficeconcepts.com/component/k2/item/102-designing-your-office-to-reduce-your-work-load-through-cognitive-science

Dawson, A. (2011). Distinctive Design: A Practical Guide to a Findable, Useful, Beautiful Web: Wiley.

Learning-Theories. (2016). Cognitive Load Theory of Multimedia Learning (Sweller). Learning-Theories.com knowledge base and webliography.  Retrieved from http://www.learning-theories.com/cognitive-load-theory-of-multimedia-learning-sweller.html

Sweller, J., Ayres, P. L., Kalyuga, S., & Ebook, L. (2011). Cognitive load theory (Vol. 1). New York: Springer.