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About this EduMod Page#Examples

  • Author(s) Doug White
  • EduMod "learning through modification"



  • EduMod (Edu-Mod "learning through modification") consists of wiki-based instructional pages for different analytic or data analysis problems used in research and instruction. An EduMod page has background and operating instructions. The operating commands (OCs) can be cut and pasted into a software command page like those of R (freeware), MatLab, or Spss. The OCs may contain links to a data file url that is read from the web, or from the user's directory if the data is not already contained in the OC. The OCs may install or call installed program packages, load programs read from the web, or from the user's directory if the source commands are not already contained in the OCs.
The beauty of this is that a working demonstration is provided after which either (a) the data line can be changed or (b) elements of the program of its parameters may be changed or (c) both. These are called Mods or modifications, and the process is called Modding.
As the learner is preparing a new operation, they are is asked to add a "go to" line to the wiki page to link to a new Mod page with the name provided, to create that page, and to copy to the empty Mod page the original exemplar, and then Mod the page by altering it, testing it, and explaining what was done, what worked, or what did not work and why.
This approach leaves a cumulative series of Mods. For examples see Cohesive blocking or Subgraph centrality.


EduMod (learning by modification) has a built-in verb: just as the verb Modding relates to Mod (a user or learner modification of an existing template for interacting with existing educational materials or gaming, EduMod has the verb EduModding (as in we are EduModding this wiki site), and extends to EduGISmod and EduGISmodding (fixing a wiki education site about free spatial visualization, education and mashup tools to allow students to do and use EduModding). Sorry for all the neologs, the new technology is creating new vocabularies.

EduGIS and EduGISmod

EduGISMod The EduGISmod planning document

Plain vanilla EduMod

This is where it started. UCI's Social Dynamics and Complexity group in IMBS uses a modest amount of funding by purchase order for open source programmers like Peter McMahan who have helped us get very easy-to-use programs in open-source languages like R documented and running on our wiki site. For data that students and researchers want to analyze, both the data and any special R code are called from website URLs in code (and instructions) that are cut and pasted into the user's R window on their own computer. The results appear on your own computer and code or instructions can be further modified on the wiki, spawning many different variants and results of analyses.

The only requirement for the user in such a case is to install the R package. Then their learning curve depends on what database the researcher is analyzing and whether the R or other open source software is available. For the moment that includes

rectangular databases where one can do:
imputation of missing data
regression analysis
regression that models network influence effects (SAR) given any sort of spatial or network linkage data among the cases
network computation that finds cohesive groupings in the network data.

This project, EduMod, is an open collaboration on wikisites such as InterSciWiki where different pages are built for specific applications in individual research projects, all indexed and tied to one of the modeling appoaches that have been contributed. The cohesive blocking site is an example.

Learning through modification (LTM-GB)

LTM-GB is Learning Through Modification - and Give Back. LTM takes an existing model that can be modified for a new problem and new results. Since it takes work for an instructor to set up a LTM example, and the student modifies the example, Giving Back (LTM-GM) is the obligation of the student to leave the new experiment as the next experiment in the same series as the originals, reporting on success for failure.

See also

On a larger scale see our page on QLectives where one of our students and eJournal authors (Camille Roth) along with other social scientists has succeeded in getting major funding in the EU ($10 million) to design and deploy next generation self-organizing socially intelligent information systems. We are also a contributor to that project.

EduMod presentation at UCI Feb 2010 conference on "Diversifying participation"


Our funding uses a more modest approach, as we operate on contributions from donors. Contributions may also be earmarked for UCI Scholarships and Fellowships for graduate work at UCI in the MBS program.

Direct contributions to the Social Dynamics and Complexity group in IMBS, the InterSciWiki, or EduMod programs help send UCI students to participate in Santa Fe Institute complexity research, Professional Conferences, and Workshops. They also sustain EduMod professional editing of instructional pages and copy editing of our on-line journals, Structure and Dynamics and World Cultures, published by the University of California eScholarship Repositories, which are open to professional coaching for graduate and honors student publications.