Matching Items (19)

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I am not Prometheus: traditional literacy and multimodal texts in secondary classrooms

Description

This dissertation explored the literacy practices that developed around comics when two secondary teachers (one AP Science and one AP English) used comics in their classroom instruction for the first

This dissertation explored the literacy practices that developed around comics when two secondary teachers (one AP Science and one AP English) used comics in their classroom instruction for the first time. It also explored the ways the teachers and their students positioned comics within their specific classroom contexts. Historically, comics are a marginalized medium in educational circles—widely considered non-academic despite the recognition by scholars for their sophistication as a multimodal medium. Scholars, librarians, teachers, and comics authors have made the case for the inclusion of comics in educational contexts citing their ability to support the literacy development of struggling readers, engage reluctant readers, promote lifelong reading, and convey information visually. However, the roles comics can play in educational contexts are still under researched, and many gaps exist in the literature including a lack of real world contexts and clearly reported instructional strategies. This study aimed to fill these gaps by reporting the literacy practices that students and teachers develop around comics, as well as contextualizing these practices in the classroom contexts and students’ and teachers’ experiences. Drawing from a social semiotic view of multimodality and the view of literacy as a social practice, I conducted a qualitative case study using ethnographic methods for data collection which I analyzed using an interpretive framework for qualitative data analysis and constant comparative analysis. I found three literacy practices developed around comics in these contexts—Q&A, writing about comics, and drawing comics. I also found that teachers and students positioned comics in four primary ways within these contexts—as a tool, as entertainment, as a medium, and as a traditional form of literature. Based on my findings, I developed three assertions: 1) there is a disconnect between teachers’ goals for using comics in their instruction and the literacy practice that developed around the comics they selected; 2) there is a disconnect between the ways in which teachers position comics and the ways in which students position comics; and 3) traditional views of literature and literacy continue to dominate classrooms when multimodal texts are selected and utilized during instruction.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Making meaning out of canonical texts in freshman English

Description

This study examines ninth graders’ negotiation of meaning with one canonical work, Romeo and Juliet. The study’s sample was 88% Latino at a Title I high school. The study adopts

This study examines ninth graders’ negotiation of meaning with one canonical work, Romeo and Juliet. The study’s sample was 88% Latino at a Title I high school. The study adopts a sociocultural view of literacy and learning. I employed ethnographic methods (participant observation, data collection, interviews, and focus groups) to investigate the teacher’s instructional approaches and the literacy practices used while teaching the canonical work. With a focus on students’ interpretations, I examined what they said and wrote about Romeo and Juliet. One finding was that the teacher employed instructional approaches that facilitated literacy practices that allowed students to draw on their cultural backgrounds, personal lived experiences, and values as they engaged with Romeo and Juliet. As instructional approaches and literacy practices became routine, students formed a community of learners. Because the teacher allowed students to discuss their ideas before, during, and after reading, students were provided with multiple perspectives to think about as they read and negotiated meaning. A second finding was that students drew on their personal lived experiences, backgrounds, and values as they made sense and negotiated the meaning of Romeo and Juliet’s plot and characters. Although the text’s meaning was not always obvious to students, in their work they showed their growing awareness that multiple interpretations were welcomed and important in the teacher’s classroom. Through the unit, students came to recognize that their own and their peers’ understandings, negotiations, and interpretations of the canonical work were informed by a variety of complex factors. Students came to find relevance in the text’s themes and characters to their experiences as adolescents. The study’s findings point to the importance of allowing students to draw from their cultural backgrounds and experiences as they negotiate meaning with texts, specifically canonical ones, and to welcome and encourage multiple meanings in the English classroom.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Experience points: learning, product literacy and game design

Description

Game design and product design are natural partners. They use similar tools. They reach the same users. They even share the same goal: to provide great user experiences.

This thesis asks,

Game design and product design are natural partners. They use similar tools. They reach the same users. They even share the same goal: to provide great user experiences.

This thesis asks, "Can game design build better product learning experiences, and if so, how?" It examines the learning situations created by and necessary for product design. It examines the principles of game learning. Then it looks for opportunities to apply game learning principles to product learning situations. The goal is to create engaging and successful product learning experiences, without turning products into games.

This study uses an auto-ethnographic evaluation of a gameplay session as well as participant observation and interviews with gamers to gather qualitative data. That data is sorted with an A(x4) framework and used to create user experience profiles.

The final outcome is a toolkit that identifies areas where game design could improve the design of product user experiences, especially for product learning.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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A Middle School's Journey from Improvement Required towards Professional Learning Communities

Description

The focus of this research study was to better understand the development of a Professional Learning Community (PLC) culture within an urban middle school campus and to analyze if the

The focus of this research study was to better understand the development of a Professional Learning Community (PLC) culture within an urban middle school campus and to analyze if the intervention, intended to develop a campus PLC culture, had any positive or negative impact on student achievement. This mixed-methods research study utilized pre and post surveys and interviews with campus educators to delve into the perceptions of the development of a PLC culture within the middle school campus. Furthermore, student academic performance was explored through the analysis of state academic performance reports.

The first significant finding of this study was that the results of the concurrent method of data analysis affirmed that, potentially because of this intervention during the 2018-2019 academic school year, the middle school of this study did commence the development of a professional learning community culture. The second significant finding was that based on the data analyzed of student performance for the three previous academic years, student achievement did increase academically when accounting all students and all contents. Furthermore, both math and English language arts had the lowest percentage of students not meeting grade level standards since 2016. Finally, the largest subpopulation within the school campus, English Learner students, demonstrated large gains at 23 percentage points over the last three years in the academic performance tier of approaching grade level or above. This increase in academic performance by the students did ultimately lead to the campus performance rating to increase positively, as measured by the state of Texas.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Who's blogging now?: linguistic features and authorship analysis in sports blogs

Description

The field of authorship determination, previously largely falling under the umbrella of literary analysis but recently becoming a large subfield of forensic linguistics, has grown substantially over the last two

The field of authorship determination, previously largely falling under the umbrella of literary analysis but recently becoming a large subfield of forensic linguistics, has grown substantially over the last two decades. As its body of research and its record of successful forensic application continue to grow, this growth is paralleled by the demand for its application. However, methods which have undergone rigorous testing to show their reliability and replicability, allowing them to meet the strict Daubert criteria put forth by the US court system, have not truly been established.

In this study, I set out to investigate how a list of parameters, many commonly used in the methodologies of previous researchers, would perform when used to test documents of bloggers from a sports blog, Winging It in Motown. Three prolific bloggers were chosen from the site, and a corpus of posts was created for each blogger which was then examined for each of the chosen parameters. One test document for each of the three bloggers which was not included in that blogger’s corpus was then chosen from the blog page, and these documents were examined for each of the parameters via the same methodologies as were used to examine the corpora. Once data for the corpora and all three test documents was obtained, the results were compared for similarity, and an author determination was made for each test document along each parameter.

The findings indicated that overall the parameters were quite unsuccessful in determining authorship for these test documents based on the author corpora developed for the study. Only two parameters successfully identified the authors of the test documents at a rate higher than chance, and the possibility exists that other factors may be driving these successful identifications, demanding further research to confirm their validity as parameters for the purpose of authorship work.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Composing Facebook: digital literacy and incoming writing transfer in first-year composition

Description

Most new first-year composition (FYC) students already have a great deal of writing experience. Much of this experience comes from writing in digital spaces, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and

Most new first-year composition (FYC) students already have a great deal of writing experience. Much of this experience comes from writing in digital spaces, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. This type of writing is often invisible to students: they may not consider it to be writing at all. This dissertation seeks to better understand the actual connections between writing in online spaces and writing in FYC, to see the connections students see between these types of writing, and to work toward a theory for making use of those connections in the FYC classroom. The following interconnected articles focus specifically on Facebook--the largest and most ubiquitous social network site (SNS)-- as a means to better understand students' digital literacy practices.

Initial data was gathered through a large-scale survey of FYC students about their Facebook use and how they saw that use as connected to composition and writing. Chapter 1 uses the data to suggest that FYC students are not likely to see a connection between Facebook and FYC but that such a connection exists. The second chapter uses the same data to demonstrate that men and women are approaching Facebook slightly differently and to explore what that may mean for FYC teachers. The third chapter uses 10 one-on-one interviews with FYC students to further explore Facebook literacies. The interviews suggest that the literacy of Facebook is actually quite complex and includes many modes of communication in addition to writing, such as pictures, links, and "likes." The final chapter explores the issue of transfer. While transfer is popular in composition literature, studies tend to focus on forward-reading and not backward-reaching transfer. This final chapter stresses the importance of this type of transfer, especially when looking back at digital literacy knowledge that students have gained through writing online.

While these articles are intended as stand-alone pieces, together they demonstrate the complex nature of literacies on Facebook, how they connection to FYC, and how FYC teachers may use them in their classrooms. They serve as a starting off point for discussions of effective integration of digital literacies into composition pedagogies.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Ownschooling: the use of technology in 10 unschooling families

Description

Unschooling is a child-centered educational philosophy that eschews teachers,

schools, curricula, grades and tests. Unschool practitioners have complete freedom to choose what they want to learn, when, to what level,

Unschooling is a child-centered educational philosophy that eschews teachers,

schools, curricula, grades and tests. Unschool practitioners have complete freedom to choose what they want to learn, when, to what level, and for how long. Unschooling families use the World Wide Web to provide a bespoke academic experience at home. This study compares qualitative data collected from questionnaires and semi-structured interviews conducted with 10 unschooling families with quantitative data collected from 5 children within these families using a tracking and monitoring software. The software captured the duration of use, keystrokes, mouseclicks, and screenshots for all programs and websites for 14 days. Children stated they used technology less than 6 hours a day, and parents stated children used them less than 8 hours a day. Quantitative data shows the children use technology at least 10 hours a day, suggesting usage self-reports may not be reliable. The study revealed hardware form factor was the number one determinate of application use. Almost exclusively social media was used on smartphones, internet browsing on tablets, and creative endeavors such as modding, hacking, fan fiction writing, and video game level building all took place exclusively on laptops and desktops. Concurrent use of differing hardware form factors was the norm observed. Participants stated YouTube, Wikipedia and Khan Academy were the websites most used for knowledge gathering. The tracking software verified YouTube and Wikipedia were the most used websites, however when accessed on the PC, those sites were used almost exclusively for video game related purposes. Over 90% of the total PC use was spent on video games. More traditional educational activities were done primarily on tablets and on parent smartphones with parental engagement. Khan Academy was not used by the

participants in the 14 day monitoring period. 90 day web browser logs indicated Khan Academy was used by individuals no more than 3 times in a 90 day period,

demonstrating the inherent risks in relying upon internet usage self-reports without

quantitative software for verification. Unschooling children spent between 30 and 60 hours a week using technology.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Participation and experiences of reclassified English language learners in a learning management system

Description

In this study, I investigate how secondary reclassified ELLs use the Learning Management System Schoology in three secondary English classrooms. Particularly, I focus on the digital literacy practices reclassified ELLs

In this study, I investigate how secondary reclassified ELLs use the Learning Management System Schoology in three secondary English classrooms. Particularly, I focus on the digital literacy practices reclassified ELLs use as they navigate Schoology to complete a multi-page research paper. In examining the digital literacy practices of secondary reclassified ELLs who have recently exited the language development program, I add to research in the fields of New Literacies and Multiliteracies, sociocultural approaches to learning, and identity studies.

In this qualitative study, I employed ethnographic techniques (i.e., data collection, participant observation, interviewing, and collection of archived material and digital artifacts stored in Schoology). I drew from communities of practice and identity frameworks to examine focal participants' literacy practices when participating in the online space of Schoology and provided screenshots to showcase this participation. I examined email exchanges that were co-created by teacher and student that demonstrated their reliance on a digital tool to continue the teaching and learning processes. I exhibit screenshots of focal participants' engagement with the revision process as they used Schoology’s and Microsoft Word's digital editing tools. Finally, I examined focal participants' participation in Schoology's online discussion forum to highlight how they revealed aspects of their identities and performed these identities in a mainstream-learning environment as well.

My analysis establishes that focal participants' access to an LMS like Schoology and other digital spaces (e.g., email) supports the language learning and literacy practices of reclassified ELLs. In addition, my analysis of focal participants' digital and communication practices shows that they contributed to their agency, positioned themselves as empowered and knowledgeable learners, and performed the role of "peer as mentor" when providing feedback to their peers. Finally, in my analysis of focal participants' inventories of digital literacy practices, I discovered that their engagement in Schoology for the purposes of learning and communication reinforced their language learning, both traditional and digital literacies, and overall academic achievement. Findings of this study emphasizes the importance of technology integration at the secondary level so that all students have equal access to digital and multimodal ways of learning in today's digital age.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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What counts as writing?: an examination of students' use of social media platforms as alternative authoring paths

Description

In this article-style dissertation, I explore how students used digital technologies, specifically three social media platforms, as multimodal writing platforms while creating a digital portfolio in a senior English class.

In this article-style dissertation, I explore how students used digital technologies, specifically three social media platforms, as multimodal writing platforms while creating a digital portfolio in a senior English class. These platforms are 1) Weebly pages: a website building platform, 2) Weebly Blogs: a feature of Weebly, and 3) Instagram: a photo/video sharing application. Under a multiliteracies lens, I examine the changing nature of literacies and the educational practices surrounding learning literacies when mediated through social media.

First, I conducted an analysis of how the students in this class designed their portfolios. This is done through an examination of each students’ Weebly homepage as well as an in-depth analysis two focal students across each of the social media platforms as illustrative cases. Findings show the students designed complex multimodal compositions that would have otherwise not been possible with the more formal, rigid forms of writing typical to this classroom. Implications for this study include embracing alternative authoring paths in classrooms beyond traditional forms of text-based writing to allow for students’ interests to be included through their designs.

I also examined how students used each of the platforms and the pedagogical implications for those uses. I found that students used Instagram to write multimodally, which allowed them to express ideas in non-traditional ways that are often not present in classrooms. Students used Weebly pages to publically showcase their writing, which afforded them an opportunity to extend their writing to a larger audience. Students used Weebly Blogs to communicate informally, which allowed them to reflect on connections to the text. I offer implications for how teachers can use social media in the classroom.

Finally, I outline how Ms. Lee and her students oriented to the value of writing in this unit. Findings indicate that Ms. Lee, like many others, privileged print-based forms of writing, even in a more expansive project like the portfolio unit. The students oriented to this value by predominantly making meaning through textual modes throughout their portfolios. Implications extend to teachers expanding their classroom practices beyond the traditional forms of literacy for which they are trained.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Videogames, informal teaching, and the rhetoric of design

Description

This dissertation is about videogames. It is also about teaching, and the ways videogame design represents good teaching. However, this dissertation is not about videogames alone. It makes

This dissertation is about videogames. It is also about teaching, and the ways videogame design represents good teaching. However, this dissertation is not about videogames alone. It makes broad claims about teaching in- and out-of-schools in the 21st Century. Over the last few decades many scholars have been impressed by the rich forms of learning going on out-of-school. In particular, the emergence of digital and social media has fueled interest in informal learning while often ignoring or effacing the critical role of teaching. Indeed, the term “informal learning” is common while the term “informal teaching” barely exists. At the same time, the learning sciences have made progress on understanding how learning works based on empirical evidence of how the mind operates. While this research is not well implemented in many of our schools, it is well represented in much out-of-school learning (such as in videogames). This dissertation argues that there is a body of evidence germane to good teaching, that many learning principles celebrated today in out-of-school learning are actually teaching principles, and that good videogames can give us insights into how teaching can work as a form of design with or without games. The dissertation then develops a model of distributed teaching and learning systems which involve designed- and emergent organization of various teaching and learning “sites”. Finally, the dissertation looks at the rhetorical function of teaching in building a “deliberate learner,” one whose goal is not simply to know and do things, but to become a certain type of person committed to new ways with words, forms of interaction, and values. Rhetoric, teaching, learning, and design of all sorts have been set free from institutions and turned loose into a market place of ideas and sites. In the face of this market place we need to engage in discussions about who we want to be, who we want others to be, and what world we want all of us to live in. These discussions will center not just on “truth”, but on values as well—which is exactly where, in a high-risk imperiled world, they should be centered.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016