Matching Items (19)

Shibboleth: an automated foreign accent identification program

Description

The speech of non-native (L2) speakers of a language contains phonological rules that differentiate them from native speakers. These phonological rules characterize or distinguish accents in an L2. The Shibboleth

The speech of non-native (L2) speakers of a language contains phonological rules that differentiate them from native speakers. These phonological rules characterize or distinguish accents in an L2. The Shibboleth program creates combinatorial rule-sets to describe the phonological pattern of these accents and classifies L2 speakers into their native language. The training and classification is done in Shibboleth by support vector machines using a Gaussian radial basis kernel. In one experiment run using Shibboleth, the program correctly identified the native language (L1) of a speaker of unknown origin 42% of the time when there were six possible L1s in which to classify the speaker. This rate is significantly better than the 17% chance classification rate. Chi-squared test (1, N=24) =10.800, p=.0010 In a second experiment, Shibboleth was not able to determine the native language family of a speaker of unknown origin at a rate better than chance (33-44%) when the L1 was not in the transcripts used for training the language family rule-set. Chi-squared test (1, N=18) =1.000, p=.3173 The 318 participants for both experiments were from the Speech Accent Archive (Weinberger, 2013), and ranged in age from 17 to 80 years old. Forty percent of the speakers were female and 60% were male. The factor that most influenced correct classification was higher age of onset for the L2. A higher number of years spent living in an English-speaking country did not have the expected positive effect on classification.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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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

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Bringing Mormon discourse out of the Twilight: exploring how fans recognize, reflect, reinterpret, and resist multiple discourses in and around the seductive saga

Description

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to explore how LDS (Mormon) fans of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga make meanings from the text in the blogging community known as the Bloggernacle.

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to explore how LDS (Mormon) fans of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga make meanings from the text in the blogging community known as the Bloggernacle. It investigates how fans recognize, reflect, reinterpret, and resist meanings surrounding multiple Big "D" Discourses (Gee, 1999/2010; 2011) in and around the text. It examines the ways in which LDS fans (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) of the Twilight saga use language in order to signify membership in a particular Discourse. In addition, it seeks to understand how LDS fans use language to perform various identities and position themselves and others within the digital space.

This dissertation study analyzes the threads of five blogs and three discussion forums using the combined methods of critical ethnography (Carspecken, 1996) and Gee's (1999, 2010;2011) discourse analysis. It concludes, that, while multiple Discourses are present within the conversational threads, mainstream Mormon Discourse remains dominant and normalized within the space, which both informs and limits the interpretations available to Mormon fans. In addition, identity performance is negotiated in the blogs, and members form specific sub-communities within the Bloggernacle so as to create a space for those with distinct ways of believing, valuing, knowing, and identifying.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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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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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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Playing vocabulary games and learning academic language with gifted elementary students

Description

Learning academic vocabulary is part of the curriculum for elementary students. Many gifted students learn new words easily but do not necessarily feel positive about studying vocabulary at school. They

Learning academic vocabulary is part of the curriculum for elementary students. Many gifted students learn new words easily but do not necessarily feel positive about studying vocabulary at school. They also do not transfer these words to their own writing. This researcher used games in her own fifth-grade classroom to teach vocabulary and measured the use of these words in the students' writing. This study also examined students' attitudes about learning vocabulary through games. This mixed-methods study used quantitative data to study the students' retention of the vocabulary words, their usage of the words in their writing, and their attitude toward playing games to learn vocabulary. The researcher also used qualitative data to measure the students' attitudes toward learning with games. Three different vocabulary games were used and one editing game was used during this 18-week study. Quantitative data from test scores and questionnaire responses were analyzed comparing pre and post responses. Writing samples and word tallies were collected throughout the study. Students learned the definitions of vocabulary words while playing games and retained the meanings after 18 weeks, achieving a mean score on the posttest of 71%. No significant usage of the relevant words in student writing samples was found. Qualitative data from questionnaires and field notes were coded and analyzed. A significant gain was shown in how students felt about studying vocabulary after playing games. This study showed positive results in all areas measured.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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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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Finding Community in Learning: Encouraging Group Learning and Cohesiveness in the Workplace

Description

This action research project centered on a group of instructional technology professionals who provide support to instructors at a public university in the United States. The practical goal of this

This action research project centered on a group of instructional technology professionals who provide support to instructors at a public university in the United States. The practical goal of this project was to increase collaboration within the team, and to encourage alignment of the team’s efforts in relation to the university’s proposed redesign of its general education curriculum. Using the communities of practice perspective as a model for the team’s development, participants engaged in a sixteen-week activity in which they studied and discussed aspects of the proposed curriculum, and then used that knowledge to observe classes and compare the extent to which classroom pedagogy at the time aligned with the aims of the proposed curriculum. This qualitative action research study then explored how the team used these experiences to construct knowledge and the extent to which the group came to resemble a community of practice. Additionally, this study explored the changes that took place in the group’s capacity to interpret instructional environments. The first major finding was that the group’s identity changed from being one characterized by relationship management with their clientele to one that aligned with the institution’s instructional priorities and could be projected into the future to devise coordinated plans in support of those priorities. A second major finding was that the team developed a group-specific language and a rudimentary capacity to interpret instructional environments as a group.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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From sewing circles to linky parties: women's sewing practices in the digital age

Description

For the past few decades, feminist researchers have worked tirelessly to recover the history of American women’s sewing – both the artifacts made and the processes, practices, and identities linked

For the past few decades, feminist researchers have worked tirelessly to recover the history of American women’s sewing – both the artifacts made and the processes, practices, and identities linked to the objects produced. With the transition to the digital age, women are still sewing, but they are inventing, making, and distributing sewn objects using platforms and pathways online to share knowledge, showcase their handicrafts, and sell their wares. This dissertation examines contemporary sewing and asks how digital practices are extending and transforming the history of women’s sewing in America. I place my findings against the backdrop of women’s history by recounting how and why women sewed in previous eras. This dissertation demonstrates how past sewing practices are being repeated, remixed, and reimagined as women meet to sew, socialize, and collaborate on the web.

The overall approach to this project is ethnographic in nature, in that I collected data by participating alongside my female subjects in the online settings they frequent to read about, write about, and discuss sewing, including blogs, email, and various social media sites. From these interactions, I provide case studies that illuminate my findings on how women share sewing knowledge and products in digital spaces. Specifically, I look at how women are using digital tools to learn and teach sewing, to sew for activist purposes, and to pursue entrepreneurship. My findings show that sewing continues to be a highly social activity for women, although collaboration and socializing often happen from geographically distanced locations and are enabled by online communication. Seamstresses wanting to provide sewing instruction are able to archive their knowledge electronically and disperse it widely, and those learning to sew can access this knowledge by navigating paths through a plethora of digital resources. Activists are able to recruit more widely when seeking participants for their causes and can send handmade goods to people in need around the globe. Although gender biases continue to plague working women, the internet provides new opportunities for female entrepreneurship and allows women to profit from their sewing skills.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016