Information Behaviour and Mental Models

I typically read four to six articles/blog posts per day about usability. Not all articles are new, or even that good, but I’m trying to understand the psychology of the web better, because it seems to me the future of education is on the web, even if it’s only using the web to augment a face-to-face classroom. It’s endlessly fascinating to me how people use the web, rather than what people use the web for (which is what we’ve used media for for the past five hundred years, to communicate with others). So when the article Information Behavior & Mental Models showed up in my reader, I thought that it had a ton of application for guidelines for the creation of online learning spaces. Especially the part about the memory of frustrating experiences – we’ve all experienced when bad reviews go further than good reviews – but I wonder what happens when it’s not a purchase but an experience in online learning? What happens when students are frustrated? Do they drop out? Or simply fail?