A new paper, led by GRL graduate student Sheldon Turner, documents the value of Tablet PCs for capturing cognition. This paper documents the unique data sets that Tablet PCs, coupled with video capture technologies, now allow us to collect.
Novel applications of Tablet PCs to investigate expert cognition in the geosciences
ABSTRACT. In this paper, we present new methodologies developed to investigate cognitive processes related to perceiving and interpreting Earth phenomena. This area of study, known as geocognition, is an emerging and vital aspect of geoscience. Geocognition gives geoscientists an understanding of how people conceptualize earth processes. For example, geocognition research can be used to generate effective strategies for increasing public scientific literacy in this new era of climate change and energy crisis. We collected spatial visualization and working memory data using a Camtasia add-on for PowerPoint to generate a unique set of static drawings and videos of the drawing process. Analyzing these data provides unique insight into the underlying cognitive processes. For example, quantitative patterns that emerge within a subpopulation of novices or experts show us the common errors and patterns in how objects are drawn, including drawing order and time spent drawing. We believe that these unique data will contribute to the ongoing efforts to generate new understanding of the nature of geoscientific expertise.