Incommensurate Wor(l)ds: Epistemic Rhetoric and Faceted Classification of Communication Mechanics in Virtual Worlds

Sarah Smith-Robbins Ball State University Rhetoric and Composition Dissertation Defense March 28, 2011

Acknowledgements
‡ Dr. Rai Peterson, advisor ‡ Dr. Brian McNely, committee member ‡ Dr. Webster Newbold, committee member ‡ Dr. James Chesebro, committee member ‡ Dr. John Dailey, committee member ‡ Dr. Carole Papper, committee member

BACKGROUND

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

RESEARCH METHOD

Agenda

FINDINGS &ANALYSIS

FURTHER STUDY

BACKGROUND

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

RESEARCH METHOD

FINDINGS &ANALYSIS

FURTHER STUDY

2006

BACKGROUND

Purpose of study
Create a simple, sustainable, discipline-agnostic method to understand how a new technology can be matched with an educational need.

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

RESEARCH METHOD

FINDINGS &ANALYSIS

FURTHER STUDY

BACKGROUND

Research Question
CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

RESEARCH METHOD

FINDINGS &ANALYSIS

How are the communication mechanics of multi-user technologies related to the educational potential and effectiveness of those technologies?

FURTHER STUDY

BACKGROUND

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

RESEARCH METHOD

FINDINGS & ANALYSIS

How are the communication mechanics of multi-user technologies related to the educational potential and effectiveness of those technologies?

FURTHER STUDY

BACKGROUND

Operationalizing Multi-User Tech
Tools should contain as many communication methods as possible Virtual Worlds (VW) are: ‡ Convergent, contain mechanics found separately in other tools ‡ Constructed from rhetoric (Brummett·s ontological view of epistemic rhetoric)

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

RESEARCH METHOD

FINDINGS & ANALYSIS

FURTHER STUDY

BACKGROUND

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

Virtual Worlds defined« 1. Persistent 2. Multi-user (massive) 3. Avatars 4. Wide Area Network (WAN) Reviews of research illustrated even more incommensurate terms resulting in incommensurate research conversations

RESEARCH METHOD

FINDINGS & ANALYSIS

FURTHER STUDY

BACKGROUND

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

James: Realities have their own truths. 7 realities (ex. science, religion) Chesebro: Media Reality Virtual Worlds are a 9th Reality

RESEARCH METHOD

FINDINGS & ANALYSIS

FURTHER STUDY

Parasocial avatar relationships

BACKGROUND

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

RESEARCH METHOD

Kuhn·s Scientific Revolution: Paradigm shift, crisis in discipline Commensurate terms needed

FINDINGS & ANALYSIS

FURTHER STUDY

BACKGROUND

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

RESEARCH METHOD

FINDINGS &ANALYSIS

How are the communication mechanics of multi-user technologies related to the educational potential and effectiveness of those technologies?

FURTHER STUDY

BACKGROUND

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

Purpose: establish commensurate terms and operationalize communication mechanics for further research

RESEARCH METHOD

FINDINGS &ANALYSIS

Faceted Classification ‡Ranganathan (1967) ‡Method to classify objects by defining and functional traits ‡Facets have no hierarchal order

FURTHER STUDY

BACKGROUND

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

RESEARCH METHOD

FINDINGS &ANALYSIS

Faceted Classification: Method 1. List all common characteristics (mechanics) 2. Conduct large scale analysis to find most common facets, eliminate uncommon, group like facets (150 VWs) 3. Define operational facets 4. Classify objects (75 VWs)

FURTHER STUDY

BACKGROUND

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

RESEARCH METHOD

FINDINGS &ANALYSIS

FURTHER STUDY

Facet List: 1. Dominant content form 2. Dominant user-to-user communication form 3. Level of stigmergy 4. Object ownership 5. Identity formation 6. Environment access 7. User-to-user relationship 8. User-to-environment relationship 9. Access to groups 10.Number of groups

BACKGROUND

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

Review of literature and existing worlds using facets reveals: ‡Opportunities for new/improved research ‡Trends in coexisting facets

RESEARCH METHOD

FINDINGS &ANALYSIS

FURTHER STUDY

BACKGROUND

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

RESEARCH METHOD

FINDINGS &ANALYSIS

How are the communication mechanics of multi-user technologies related to the educational potential and effectiveness of those technologies?

FURTHER STUDY

BACKGROUND

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

RESEARCH METHOD

Purpose: Examine how facets combine to create activities and genres which are designer-provided or user-created

FINDINGS &ANALYSIS

FURTHER STUDY

BACKGROUND

Activity Theory: Engeström Framework to describe the cyclical and reciprocal interactions among: ‡Subjects: actors/individuals ‡Objects: purpose/objective ‡Tools: ideas, artifacts, or systems used to facilitate activity TOOL

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

RESEARCH METHOD

FINDINGS &ANALYSIS

SUBJECT
FURTHER STUDY

OBJECT

BACKGROUND

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

Activity Theory: A system of growth and change within the scope and context of an activity.
Activity: Goal direction hierarchy of actions

RESEARCH METHOD

Action: Conscious chains of operations
FINDINGS &ANALYSIS

Operation: Autonomic performance of tasks
FURTHER STUDY

BACKGROUND

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

RESEARCH METHOD

Activity analysis of VW tutorials demonstrated that tutorials include facets in context of common/dominant designerprovided activities
Not as useful to analyze user-created activities

FINDINGS &ANALYSIS

FURTHER STUDY

BACKGROUND

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

Genre Ecology Modeling: ‡Spinuzzi, Hart-Davidson, Zachary ‡Illustrate ways in which users deviate from designer-provided activities to create their own Genre: Typified communication responses to recurrent/recognizable social situations

RESEARCH METHOD

Both designer-provided and user-created genres are made possible through facet combinations

FINDINGS &ANALYSIS

Example of user-created genre: Corpse spamming in WoW
FURTHER STUDY

BACKGROUND

Facets = Commensurate Terms = Lower threshold for genre and activity literacy in a VW = Increased ability to manipulate genres to construct meaningful usercreated activities

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

RESEARCH METHOD

FINDINGS &ANALYSIS

FURTHER STUDY

BACKGROUND

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

RESEARCH METHOD

FINDINGS &ANALYSIS

GEM levels of activity: 1. Strategic: Leadership (designer) defined 2. Tactical: used to accomplish specific tasks in support of strategic goals 3. Operational: Executed actions that comprise tactical activities

FURTHER STUDY

BACKGROUND

VW/ Designerprovided
CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

Strategic

Entertainment, achievement

RESEARCH METHOD

Tactical

Level character through quests

FINDINGS &ANALYSIS

Operational

Click buttons

Coordination creates a satisfying experience

FURTHER STUDY

BACKGROUND

VW/ Designer- Instructional/ provided User-created
CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

Student/ User-created Course completion, grade, employment Connection of course objectives to personal goals and grades Attendance, time management, understanding requirements

Strategic

Learning objectives

RESEARCH METHOD

Tactical

Assignments and assessments

FINDINGS &ANALYSIS

Operational

Information, experiences

FURTHER STUDY

BACKGROUND

VW/ Designer- Instructional/ provided User-created
CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

Student/ User-created Course completion, grade, employment Connection of course objectives to personal goals and grades Attendance, time management, understanding requirements

Strategic

Entertainment, Learning achievement objectives

RESEARCH METHOD

Tactical

Level Assignments character and through quests assessments

FINDINGS &ANALYSIS

Operational Click buttons

Information, experiences

FURTHER STUDY

Facet understanding required

BACKGROUND

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

RESEARCH METHOD

Four types of dis/coordinations among activities: ‡Conflicting ‡Overshadowing ‡Complimentary ‡Additional

FINDINGS &ANALYSIS

FURTHER STUDY

BACKGROUND

Waters ´On a Quest for Englishµ
VW/ Designer- Instructional/ provided User-created Student/ User-created Course completion, grade, employment Connection of course objectives to personal goals and grades Attendance, time management, understanding requirements

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

Strategic

Entertainment, Learning achievement objectives Complimentary Level Assignments character and through quests assessments

RESEARCH METHOD

Tactical

FINDINGS &ANALYSIS

Complimentary Operational Click buttons Information, experiences

FURTHER STUDY

BACKGROUND

Shultz Colby & Colby ´A Pedagogy of Play: Integrating Computer Games into the Writing Classroomµ
VW/ Designer- Instructional/ provided User-created Student/ User-created Course completion, grade, employment Connection of course objectives to personal goals and grades Attendance, time management, understanding requirements

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

Strategic

Entertainment, Learning achievement objectives Overshadow

RESEARCH METHOD

Tactical

Level Assignments character and through quests assessments Conflict

FINDINGS &ANALYSIS

Operational Click buttons

Information, experiences

FURTHER STUDY

BACKGROUND

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

How are the communication mechanics of multi-user technologies related to the educational potential and effectiveness of those technologies?
FACETS

RESEARCH METHOD

GENRES FINDINGS &ANALYSIS

ACTIVITIES DESIGNERPROVIDED USERCREATED

COORDINATIONS POTENTIAL & EFFECTIVENESS

FURTHER STUDY

BACKGROUND

‡ Faceted Classification ‡ Activity Theory ‡ Genre Ecology Modeling

Apply as an apparatus to other groups of tools

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

‡ Apply facets in new theory systems: Media richness, Media synchronicity
RESEARCH METHOD

‡ Improve understanding of tool development and adoption patterns ‡ Explore balance between facet combinations that allow for more/less robust user-created genres and activities

FINDINGS &ANALYSIS

FURTHER STUDY

sbrobbins@bsu.edu sabsmith@indiana.edu Twitter: intellagirl intellagirl.com
Sarah Smith-Robbins Ball State University, Rhetoric and Composition Dissertation Defense March 28, 2011

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful