I'm interested in "complex tasks" and handling with them in online environments. What kind of tasks can be called as complex? Is complexity change according to people? Are individual differences -as cognitive&non-cognitive- affecting the complexity of a given task? Is complexity a perception or a characteristic?
I'm trying to understand this construct according to the two definitions in literature by Wood and Campbell..

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Dear Vildan,
I think, a complex task is the task of improvement, for example, teaching and learning. Improvement of teaching seems to be easier, as teachers are trained and know what is required to learn. But learning is influenced by too many things. Thus, the task of learning is discussed by teachers, parents, students, biologists, psychologists, applied math. specialists, politicians, sociologists and economists from different angles. An online environment allows to bring all those specialists together, may be at the same time, to solve the same task.
Complexity of a task depends on what is included in a system, and what is the "weight" of a factor or component.E.g what is more important for learning, a socioeconomic status, or motivation and family values ?
Statisticians could be of help here.

What are the two definitions of Wood and Campbell?

Dear Makarova-Cross,
It cannot be wrong to say learning and teaching are complex.
According to definitions in literature a complex task;

derives from 3 primary sources: a) the number of different components associated with the task, b) the level of interaction between components and c) the degree to which the relationship between task-related input and output cues changes over time (Wood, 1986).

According to another complexity definition (Campbell, 1988), complexity as a psychological experience, complexity as a person-task interaction, and complexity as objective task characteristics (multiple paths, multiple end-states, conflicting interdependence, uncertainty or probabilistic linkages).

I need a definite task for a spesific course not all learning phases or the whole learning process.. For example in a Math or in a Computer Education Course, or maybe in a Statistics lesson ...etc.

A task that can be perceived complex for students..
Thanks for your interest.
Hi, Vildan,

I wonder if you would be interested in complexity of the dual nature of light in Physics course, or a Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subatomic_particle
I can give you chapters to read from Holt's physics for high school students.
Hi Vildan

I don't know what the definition in the literature is, so my generic perspective may or may not be helpful to you. Here goes...

Complex tasks sound like the opposite of simple tasks, which may imply the following:

* tasks that are composed of multiple steps, perhaps even many steps, and / or
* tasks that involve multiple instructions, perhaps with multiple degrees of freedom and multiple evaluation criteria

It might help to keep thinking about the opposite of simple, whilst applying it to every aspect of a task.

Of course, "complex" will still be a relative term.

Similarly, there is a term called "complex systems", and some of these systems may also exhibit chaotic behaviour (e.g. weather).

Complexity can result in surprising behaviour, just by scaling up a simple concept by several orders of magnitude.

For example, there's a simple programming system that uses just four "letters" but when billions of these letters are assembled in a particular order they create the functionality of a human being - that complex system is the genetic coding found in DNA.
Dear Bostock,

It's a strategy to understand an unknown term with its antonyms and/or synonyms. So starting with the term "simple" is a needed one. If we know what is simple, we can foresight the complex.

According to your strategy, the implications you reached about complex tasks are commonly equal to the definitions in related literature (Wood's and Campbell's definitions I wrote above).

Complexity as a system has an surprising characteristics as you wrote: Emergence. Your given example of DNA is suitable to this construct.

What about in educational context, do you remember any course or subject you thougt how complex it was?

Thank you for your interest,
Hi, Vildan,
I'm interested in "complex tasks" and handling them in online environments.
[I believe you are trying to find just an example of a complex task. You may be interested in the discussion on Health Care we had http://www.futureofeducation.com/forum/topics/health-care/b>. We tried to handle this task without any success.I understand,that complex tasks is something that you study, just for understanding
so that you could probably use in the future]
What kind of tasks can be called as complex?[I understand, that definitions which you quoted by Wood simply state that there is a system ,which consists of interacting elements, which in its turn,may be changing with time. Complexity may be related to the fact, as in Health Care, that quite a number of experts and computer analysis are required] Does complexity change according to people? [ I do not think so. There is an objective reality. Our perception may change, that is why a team of experts may help ,or a "collaborative intelligence" .http://www.futureofeducation.com/forum/topics/collaborative-intelli... . Are individual differences -as cognitive&non-cognitive- affecting the complexity of a given task? I think individual differences affect individual perception. Is complexity a perception or a characteristic? Both at the same time, as in Hegelian dialectic (philosophy).
I'm trying to understand this construct according to the two definitions in literature by Wood and Campbell..
Dear Vildan,

I think , you would be able to quote numerous examples from any discipline (biology, medicine, oceanology, meteorology,astronomy,psychology, philosophy etc). Anything alive seems to be extremely complex to humans, but solvable.
I personally am interested how to use social groups to get experts to help solve problems , which could help people to live better. An online solution and working groups would be ideal. I wonder if you would be able in the future identify a complex task, do a literature search (a scientific literature), identify experts in all different fields, approach them, and have an online working group, Twitter this event, find social groups and reach politicians.
To my surprise , I can not find any info on comparison of different insurance companies in the USA. People have no clue where and what is going on and why.
Hi Vildan

> do you remember any course or subject you thougt how complex it was?

I remember that a lot of the maths in my physics degree was complex. One example being about integrating a formula that shoots off to infinity on a complex plane [as in complex/imaginary numbers]. That was pretty complex. But then again I guess it's relative - some might have understood it on day one.


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