Mobile.SocialXYZ v.1.2.9

After six months of mostly hard work, I have managed to deploy mobile.socialxyz v. 1.2.9 to both the Apple Store for iOS and Google Play Store for Android. Overall, the v1 feature set is what I was aiming for and the app comes flush with push notifications, gradebook, quizzes, discussion boards, blogging and social networking.

With such a short timeframe to turnaround 2 native apps for iphone and android, I went with the React Native programming language using expo as my packaging software. In short, react native code is written in javascript, which made me fall in love with the language and its capabilities. I haven’t relied so much on javascript in over a decade, so it is fantastic to find such utility in the language. Expo was also a tremendous value. Expo is a packaging framework, that provides many dependencies and linking needed to deploy react native apps across iOS and Android. In short, it helped speed up testing on physical iPhone and Android devices. This, in turn, sped up delivery to Google Play and Apple stores.

The coding effort was pretty substantial and involved client-side app development along with server-side api development. The below table tracks the file count and lines of code per category.

Coding Stats

These numbers work out to around 11 months of effort for a team of 5, according to Mike’s Basic COCOMO Calculator. Not bad for a 1-person team in 6 months.

COCOMO Coding Effort

Below are some screenshots of the app, including assignments / gradebook, discussion board and quality analyzer and messaging screens.

Assignments Screen
Quality Analyzer
Inbox Screen

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SocialXYZ New Logos

While working on the mobile app for SocialXYZ and after many a few years, I’ve gone ahead and updated the logo image and icon image for SocialXYZ.

The icon, by far is my favorite. I’ve combined the share icon with XYZ. I think it works well.

SocialXYZ App Icon

The logo works too, I think. It’s simple and not as busy as the old one.

SocialXYZ Logo

I also created a header image for the mobile app pages. It’s simple so as not to distract when users are navigating the app.

App Header Image

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Web Intelligence Journal

My colleagues and I recently published our article, “Real-Time Visualization to Improve Quality in Computer Mediated Communication,” in Web Intelligence. Below is the word cloud of the paper. Below that is the abstract and citation.

Abstract. Within conversational media, how others perceive contributions affects his or her interactions with those contributions. This research explores a novel addition to conversational software, one that provides real-time assessment of quality across user contributions. An analysis of 2,157 online conversations examined attributes of quality, including lexical complexity and prompt-specific vocabulary. These factors helped to inform the redesign of an existing asynchronous online discussion board (AOD). More specifically, a real-time quality analyzer was constructed, which provides users with a visual breakdown of their post in relation to the overall group discussion thread. An experiment across two populations was performed and results found that the system increased overall levels of quality in conversations, while also increasing quality interactions across the system. The results were supplemented with survey data and a social network analysis (SNA), which discovered higher levels of system satisfaction and group cohesion.

B. Thoms, E. Eryilmaz, N. Dubin, R. Hernandez, S. Colon-Cerezo, “Real-Time Visualization to Improve Quality in Computer Mediated Communication,” Web Intelligence, v18(1), 2020.

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Research Talk at CSU Sacramento

Last week I gave a talk up in Sacramento in the School of Business. I was able to tour the campus and meet with the Dean of Business, Bill Cordeiro (previous Dean of Business at CI). Beautiful campus and very fun city. Below is the abstract of the talk.

Abstract: Design Science Research (DSR) focuses on the development and performance of computing artifacts with the explicit intention of improving the functional performance of those artifacts. In this talk, Brian Thoms will introduce his research in social software design. Dr. Thoms will present on the evolution of SocialXYZ, from its origins as a web-based social learning platform to its current state as a cross-platform Android and iOS application. More specifically, Dr. Thoms will discuss how historical data mining, real-time natural language processing and dynamic data analytics affords innovative capabilities for enhancing online conversations. Using recent case studies to illustrate, Dr. Thoms will showcase the art and science of persuasive design, presenting on real-time quality and sentiment analyzing software agents and their input for hybrid recommender systems.

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Here is the word cloud for work I co-authored, titled, “Integrating Learning Analytics to Measure Message Quality in Large Online Conversations,” which was presented at the 53rd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences on January 10, 2020. It received a best paper nomination. This work is a collaborative effort with Asst. Professor Evren Erylimaz.

The paper abstract is as follows:

Abstract: Research on computer-supported collaborative learning often employs content analysis as an approach to investigate message quality in asynchronous online discussions using systematic message-coding schemas. Although this approach helps researchers count the frequencies by which students engage in different socio-cognitive actions, it does not explain how students articulate their ideas in categorized messages. This study investigates the effects of a recommender system on the quality of students’ messages from voluminous discussions. We employ real-time learning analytics to produce a quasi-quality index score for each message. Moreover, we examine the relationship between this score and the phases of a popular message-coding schema. Empirical findings show that a custom CSCL environment extended by a recommender system supports students to explore different viewpoints and modify interpretations with higher quasi-quality index scores than students assigned to the control software. Theoretical and practical implications are also discussed.

E. Eryilmaz, B. Thoms, KH Lee, M. de Castro, “Integrating Learning Analytics to Measure Message Quality in Large Online Conversations,” Proceedings of Hawaiian International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS 53), January 7-10, 2020, Wailea, HI, USA. 

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