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Costumes, identity, and performance: Cosplay and the empowered public speaker

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This Barrett, the Honors College senior thesis connects the experiences of cosplay with public speaking confidence. “Cosplay, abbreviated from the word ‘costume play,’ is a performance art in which the

This Barrett, the Honors College senior thesis connects the experiences of cosplay with public speaking confidence. “Cosplay, abbreviated from the word ‘costume play,’ is a performance art in which the participant masquerades as a character from a selected film, television, video game, or comic book” (Gn, 2011, p. 583). The ability to “cosplay” in front of other relies on performing in front of an audience much like public speaking. When students speak with confidence, students will know their ideas are being expressed with conviction and assurance. Having the ability to speak professionally and publicly, is a highly valued skill in the workforce and key to success in all types of employment. Communication skills are frequently a top factor in determining whether a college student will obtain employment (Beebe & Beebe, 2006, p. 275-276). Despite their different definitions, there are multiple connections between cosplay and public speaking. This thesis explores the connection between peer support and belief in one’s self in both cosplay and public speaking. Now those who have direct support become self-reliant and confident as a result of these connections. This projects highlights Goffman’s identity theory, the Pygmalion effect, theories of fashion and identity, role-play, narrative paradigm, dramatism, and non-verbal communication, and explores how cosplay can contribute to the formation of one’s public speaking persona. The issue of anxiety is also included in the conversation as it is central to both cosplay and public speaking. Ultimately, this thesis explores the questions: Can cosplay help students become empowered public speakers?

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  • 2016-05

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Striving for a Voice in the Public Sphere: Political Ambition, Public Speaking, and Women

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This interdisciplinary thesis examines the possible relationship between the public speaking experience for women and the gender gap in political ambition. First, a historical analysis of women public speakers ranging

This interdisciplinary thesis examines the possible relationship between the public speaking experience for women and the gender gap in political ambition. First, a historical analysis of women public speakers ranging from the 1800s to the Suffragettes to female politicians in the 1900s reveals a pattern of female public speakers in politics receiving extreme criticism for their communicative behavior. The thesis then turns to the socialization of young girls, highlighting how gameplay in children translates into gendered communicative behavior in adult women. Next, an examination of the pedagogy of public speaking showcases how the public speaking experience is different for women than it is for men, and how public speaking traditionally is taught in a masculine style. Then, through a review of the literature on the gender gap in political ambition, it is seen that not only are women severely underrepresented in political office in the United States, but women have far less political ambition than men. And a case study of the 2008 presidential primaries and elections, highlighting modern women in politics, demonstrates that the few women who are politically ambitious in the 21st century face criticism that mirrors those faced by political women decades and centuries prior. Finally, the thesis offers possible solutions to changing the experience of women as public speakers and fostering political ambition in women.

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  • 2015-05

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Learning to speak in the digital age: an examination of instructional conditions for teaching public speaking online

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This dissertation study quantitatively measured the performance of 345 students who received public speaking instruction through an online platform presented in one of six experimental conditions in order to explore

This dissertation study quantitatively measured the performance of 345 students who received public speaking instruction through an online platform presented in one of six experimental conditions in order to explore the ability of online lectures to replicate the characteristics of instructor presence and learner interaction traditionally associated with face-to-face public speaking courses. The study investigated the following research questions:

RQ1: How does the visibility of an instructor in a public speaking video lesson affect students' perception of presence?

RQ2: How does the visibility of an instructor in a public speaking video lesson affect student learning?

RQ3: How do self-explanation (Constructive) and note-taking (Active) types of learning activities affect students' perception of presence compared to passive lessons when presented in a video lesson?

RQ4: How do self-explanation (Constructive) and note-taking (Active) types of learning activities affect student learning compared to passive lessons when presented in a video lesson?

Additionally, the study collected qualitative feedback from participants on their experience in order to improve understanding of how to effectively design lectures for public speaking courses.

Results of the study were unable to statistically distinguish between students assigned to treatments that varied in both modality and level of activity. However, a significant finding of this study is that learning gains and students' perception of instructor presence were positive across all conditions.

The lack of significant differences by treatment indicates that the design attributes at the center of the study may be unnecessary considerations for developing content for online learning. Consequently, the improved performance of participants regardless of their assigned treatment in this study identifies a limitation to the application of Media Equation Theory and the Interactive-Constructive-Active-Passive (ICAP) Framework for designing online learning content for public speaking students as well as identifies two key implications: 1) exposure to an online lesson can increase learning; and 2) exposure to an online lesson can serve as a cost-effective alternative for producing lessons in public speaking courses.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014