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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Tools That Teach Too: Exploring the Role of Interaction in the Development of Useful Cognitive Residuals

  • Author(s): Fleming, Morgan Magnus
  • Advisor(s): Maglio, Paul P
  • et al.

Tools help us perform tasks. But they also change the way we think. In five studies, I explored the lasting effects — the cognitive residuals — of using two common forms of automated spelling assistance, spell-checking and autocorrect. These different spelling assistance systems aim to provide similar spelling outcomes, but users interact quite differently with each. By comparing differences in spelling skills after using these different types of spelling assistance, I assessed differences in the cognitive residuals that arise from direct interaction (spell-checking) and passive support (autocorrect). Results suggest that the passive support provided by autocorrect is just as good as for the development of spelling skill as the direct interaction offered by traditional forms of spell-checking. However, I also demonstrate a new type of direct-interaction spell-checking that outperforms traditional approaches in creating cognitive residuals for users that help improve their spelling skills.

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