Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
"Number fetishism." What a great phrase. Reminds me of the screening for academic papers in our discipline. You may have a great point - but did you do a survey of 24 graduate students so you have some data to add to your paper? Anyhow, Jakob Nielsen writes (and I agree), "Number fetishism leads usability studies astray by focusing on statistical analyses that are often false, biased, misleading, or overly narrow. Better to emphasize insights and qualitative research." Now let's not forget, as the author notes, "it's possible to do good quantitative research and derive valid insights from measurements." But this isn't the sort of thing you whip up in a week of evenings. "Doing so is expensive and difficult."

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Sept 22, 2023 05:06 a.m.

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