Can an app help us self-regulate?

There are apps for everything! For those of us who are interested in help-seeking one app that has come to my attention is the one that provides real-time, instant responses to questions that move a task forward rather than leave the user in a quandary of questions. One of the key components of help-seeking is the available of a help-giver. There have been numerous studies using technology as a helper, including AutoTutor which incorporates strategies of human tutors that were identified in human tutoring protocols (Graesser et al. 2009, 1995), as well as ideal strategies derived from fundamental learning research (e.g., modeling- scaffolding-fading, learning progressions). The more “human’ the helper, the more successful the help-seeking outcomes.

It all begins with goal setting, Do I want to wander the mall looking for a gift or do I want to be intentional and enter the mall with a specific goal and outcome expectation, In the case of those who do not want to wander, there is an app that can help them improve time management and self-monitor intentions in search of a the appropriate gift.

From the book, Unleashing the Innovators, How Mature Companies Find New Life With Startups, a section entitled, Extending A Hand To Build Confidence, refers to Satisfi Labs location-based mobile app that allows consumers and brands to interact via Q & A. IBM Watson joined with Satisfi Labs to be the supreme help-giver at the  mall, in the stadium, the aquarium, Broadway theaters, and grocery chains.

The sequence of questions and responses begins with “What are you looking for?” Is this not the beginning of self-regulated learning? What is the goal? What is the intention? If one is not able to set a proximal goal then the following series of questions take the consumer through the process of self-regulating his or her behaviors so one is not haplessly wandering but intentionally making the correct steps towards a successful outcome, with less stress.

So… as Satisfi Lab has become “a shining light on the challenge of locating inventory and delivering the goods (Stengel & Post, 2017) so can educators investigate ways to train learners to shape their questions into manageable and proximal goals. As Don White a Satisfi Cofounder states….”I walk  into a mall where there are a lot of stores, and I am looking for a gift for my mom. There have to be some questions that narrow it down. ‘Can you name some brands your mom likes?……’Or some activities your mom likes to do?’ By the time you get own to it, we’re basically having a conversation through a digital experience that narrows to exactly what I want and need. And then, how do I get there?

Educators, consider the guiding questions that are required to move your learners to the place of saying “How do I get there?” and are both motivated and equipped to actually begin the process of learning knowing how to access the help required to perform the given task.

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