Metaphor, computing systems, and active learning

John M. Carroll, Robert L. Mack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Recent discussion has resolved the question of how prior knowledge organizes new learning into the technical definition and study of `metaphor'. Some theorists have adopted an `operational' approach, focusing on the manifest effects of suggesting metaphoric comparisons to learners. Some have resolved the question formally into a `structural' definition of metaphor. However, structural and operation approaches typically ignore the goal-directed learner-initiated learning process through which metaphors become relevant and effective in learning. Taking this process seriously affords an analysis of metaphor that explains why metaphors are intrinsically open-ended and how their open-endedness stimulates the construction of mental models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-403
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Human Computer Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Education
  • Engineering(all)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Hardware and Architecture


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