Matching Items (12)

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Interactive Storytelling at the Disneyland Resort: Analyzing the Story through the Lens of Video Game Theory

Description

Walt Disney dove into his first theme park project in 1955 with Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California in order to have a safe, clean place he could enjoy with his

Walt Disney dove into his first theme park project in 1955 with Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California in order to have a safe, clean place he could enjoy with his daughters. However, he knew to make his park a success, he would need to do so without sacrificing the elements of storytelling that made him famous. What sets Disneyland apart from other theme parks such as Six Flags Magic Mountain or nearby Knott‟s Berry Farm is an intense attention to detail for storytelling and the creative integration of the most innovative, immersive interactions possible for the guests. The key to the overall company‟s success is storytelling, therefore the key to Walt Disney Parks and Resorts lies in their dedication to providing the best overall experience for their guests by immersing them into a story they can easily engage in. The Walt Disney Company has, in recent years, made extra efforts to make the experience of the guests more interactive (Malmberg 144). The demand for this type of interactive experience has increased since such media forms as contemporary commercialized video games became popular to the mainstream, acclimating audiences to more engaging experiences. Park visitors now desire the freedom to move within a certain setting in order to create their own story and to have forms of control over their interactions with the environment.

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Date Created
  • 2012-12

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Evaluating Tools for Assessing Games with Systems Thinking Design Principles

Description

The purpose of this thesis is to evaluate a tool used for assessing games for design features that teach players a basic understanding of systems. In order to prepare for

The purpose of this thesis is to evaluate a tool used for assessing games for design features that teach players a basic understanding of systems. In order to prepare for my evaluation of both the games and the rubric, I researched multiple articles about the effectiveness of games in teaching, the concepts of systems thinking, and the importance of systems thinking. I evaluated five different games, following the rubric for whether the five games met the specific criteria laid out in each section and suggested improvements for how the games can meet any criteria that they fell short in. I then evaluated the rubric itself for ease of use, clarity, and effectiveness and suggested improvements on how to make the tool more clear and understandable. I conclude that the tool is indeed useful and does achieve its purpose of helping game designers and developers understand the criteria needed to teach a basic understanding of systems, but the rubric could be improved in order to make it more useable.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-12

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Second Chance, A Mobile Literacy Application for Unschooled Adults

Description

This project seeks to improve the reading and writing skills of literacy-challenged adults, specifically in developing countries, by designing and developing an interactive tablet application for unschooled adults who are

This project seeks to improve the reading and writing skills of literacy-challenged adults, specifically in developing countries, by designing and developing an interactive tablet application for unschooled adults who are passionate about learning to read. Very often in developing countries, the success rates of the literacy courses are overwhelmingly low. Those who manage to gain some basic literacy skills, often relapse into illiteracy once their program has terminated. The proposed application aims to address this challenge by providing an easy-to-use media environment for independent literacy learning on a lightweight portable device. This also offers opportunity to learn at the time and place convenient to the user, which is additionally supported by motivating and engaging instruction. For this thesis, we focus on the design of the system and have developed a working prototype.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-05

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Game Based Approaches to Learning: A Case Study of The Doctor's Cure and Teaching Styles

Description

This paper explores the use of different classroom management styles by teachers engaged in a study. The study was focused on testing an educational computer program called The Doctor's Cure

This paper explores the use of different classroom management styles by teachers engaged in a study. The study was focused on testing an educational computer program called The Doctor's Cure in s southwester school district with ready access to computers. The Doctor's Cure uses interactive storytelling and transformational play to teach seventh graders how to write persuasively. The definitions of student centered and teacher centered management styles used in this paper are drawn from Garret (2008) which suggests that teachers are not entirely one management style or the other, but a mix of the two. This paper closely examines three teachers, two with teacher centered styles and one with a student centered style in order to see which style was most effective in promoting the learning of persuasive writing skills. The findings tentatively indicate that teacher centered management styles yield larger gains in learning compared to more student centered styles.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-05

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The hidden curriculum of home learning in ten LDS families

Description

This study investigates the hidden curriculum of home learning, through participant observation of ten families, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), who chose to educate

This study investigates the hidden curriculum of home learning, through participant observation of ten families, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), who chose to educate their children at home. The term "hidden curriculum" is typically used to describe the values and behaviors that are taught to students implicitly, through the structure and organization of formal schooling. I used the concept of hidden curriculum as a starting point for understanding how the organization and process of home learning might also convey lessons to its participants, lessons that are not necessarily an explicit object of study in the home. Using naturalistic inquiry and a multiple case study method, I spent a minimum of ten hours each with ten families, five who homeschool and five who unschool. Through questionnaires, taped interviews, and observation, I documented typical home learning practices and purposes. These families were selected through a combination of purposive and snowball sampling to reflect a diversity of approaches to home learning. Key findings were organized into four main categories that incorporated the significant elements of the hidden curriculum of these homes: relationships, time, the learning process, and technology. The study offers three main contributions to the literature on home learning, to families, whether their children attend public schools or not, to policy makers and educators, and to the general public. First, in the case of these LDS families, their religious beliefs significantly shaped the hidden curriculum and specifically impacted relationships, use of time, attitudes about learning, and engagement with technology. Second, lines were blurred between unschooling and homeschooling practices, similar to the overlap found in self-reports and other discussions of home learning. Third, similar to families who do not home school, these families sought to achieve a balance in children's use of technology and other educational approaches. Lastly, I discuss the significant challenges that lay in defining curriculum, overt as well as hidden, in the context of home learning. This research contributes insights into alternative ways of educating children that can inform parents and educators of effective elements of other paradigms. In defining their own educational success, these families model the kind of teaching and learning advocated by professionals but that remain elusive in institutionalized education, inviting a re-thinking of and discussions about the "one best system" approach.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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What counts as successful online activism: the case of # MyNYPD

Description

This dissertation discusses how Twitter may function not only as a tool for planning public protest, but also as a discursive site, albeit a virtual one, for staging protest itself.

This dissertation discusses how Twitter may function not only as a tool for planning public protest, but also as a discursive site, albeit a virtual one, for staging protest itself. Much debate exists on the value and extent that Twitter (and other social media or social networking sites) can contribute to successful activism for social justice. Previously, scholars' assessments of online activism have tended to turn on a simple binary: either the activity enjoyed complete success for a social movement (for instance, during the Arab Spring an overthrow of a regime) or else the campaign was designated as a failure. In my dissertation, I examine a Twitter public-relations campaign organized by the New York Police Department using the hashtag #MyNYPD. The campaign asked citizens to tweet pictures of themselves with police officers, and the public did, just not in the way the police department envisioned. Instead of positive photos with the police, the public organized online to share pictures of police brutality and harassment. I collected six months of tweets using #MyNYPD, and then analyzed protestors' rhetorical work through three lenses: rhetorical analysis, analysis of literacy practices, and social network analysis. These analyses show, first, the complex rhetorical work required to appropriate the police department's public-service campaign for purposes that subverted its original intent; second, the wide range of literacy practices required to mobilize and to sustain public attention on data exposing police abuse; and third, the networked activity constituting the protest online. Together, these analyses show the important work achieved within this social justice campaign beyond the binary definition of successful activism. This project shows that by increasing our analytical repertoires for studying digital rhetoric and writing, scholars can more accurately acknowledge what it takes for participants to share experiential knowledge, to construct new knowledge, and to mobilize connections when engaging online in public protest.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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The resilience engine: generating personhood, place and power in virtual worlds, 2008-2010

Description

This document builds a model, the Resilience Engine, of how a given sociotechnical innovation contributes to the resilience of its society, where the failure points of that process might be,

This document builds a model, the Resilience Engine, of how a given sociotechnical innovation contributes to the resilience of its society, where the failure points of that process might be, and what outcomes, resilient or entropic, can be generated by the uptake of a particular innovation. Closed systems, which tend towards stagnation and collapse, are distinguished from open systems, which through ongoing encounters with external novelty, tend towards enduring resilience. Heterotopia, a space bounded from the dominant order in which novelty is generated and defended, is put forth as the locus of innovation for systemic resilience, defined as the capacity to adapt to environmental changes. The generative aspect of the Resilience Engine lies in a dialectic between a heterotopia and the dominant system across a membrane which permits interaction while maintaining the autonomy of the new space. With a model of how innovation, taken up by agents seeking power outside the dominant order, leads to resilience, and of what generates failures of the Resilience Engine as well as successes, the model is tested against cases drawn from two key virtual worlds of the mid-2000s. The cases presented largely validate the model, but generate a crucial surprise. Within those worlds, 2008-2010 saw an abrupt cultural transformation as the dialectic stage of the Resilience Engine's operation generated victories for the dominant order over promising emergent attributes of virtual heterotopia. At least one emergent practice has been assimilated, generating systemic resilience, that of the conference backchannel. A surprise, however, comes from extensive evidence that one element never problematized in thinking about innovation, the discontent agent, was largely absent from virtual worlds. Rather, what users sought was not greater agency but the comfort of submission over the burdens of self-governance. Thus, aside from minor cases, the outcome of the operation of the Resilience Engine within the virtual worlds studied was the colonization of the heterotopic space for the metropolis along with attempts by agents both external and internal to generate maximum order. Pursuant to the Resilience Engine model, this outcome is a recipe for entropic collapse and for preventing new heterotopias from arising under the current dominant means of production.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Addicted to "The Big Book: language, identity & discourse in the literacy practices of Alcoholics Anonymous

Description

The purpose of this study is to investigate the literacy practices of three members of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) and to explore how they use these practices to support and maintain

The purpose of this study is to investigate the literacy practices of three members of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) and to explore how they use these practices to support and maintain their recovery in their lives. This study also aims to examine how each participant used specialist language, enacted certain identities and acquired the secondary Discourse in A.A. through literacy use. This dissertation study is the result of in-depth interviewing in which each participant was interviewed three times for 90-minutes. These interviews were then transcribed and analyzed using discourse analysis. Study results are presented in three chapters, each one designated to one of the participants. Within these chapters is a life history (chronology) of the participant leading up to the point in which they got sober. The chapters also include a thematic discourse analysis of the interview transcripts across themes of literacy practice and topics in A.A. A conclusion is then presented to investigate how literacy was used from a sociocultural perspective in the study. Due to the emotionally charged nature of this dissertation, it has been formatted to present the stories of the participants first, leaving the theoretical framework, literature review and research methods to be included as appendices to the main text.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Building syllabi for online classes: a case study of course management tool use in online composition courses

Description

This study analyzes syllabi for first-year college composition courses and interview responses to examine how the choices made by instructors affect online course design. Using the Syllabus Assessment Instrument designed

This study analyzes syllabi for first-year college composition courses and interview responses to examine how the choices made by instructors affect online course design. Using the Syllabus Assessment Instrument designed by Madson, Melchert and Whipp (2004), this dissertation looks specifically at attendance and participation policies, course behavior policies, contact information, required material choices, course organization decisions and tool decisions to reveal how instructors do or do not accommodate online class pedagogies. This study finds that the choices instructors make in syllabus design provide significant information about the overall online course design itself. Using Selber's multiliteracies as a frame for understanding the choices made by instructors, this study finds that instructors focus primarily on functional literacies in their discourses and in the way they communicate their choices to students. Instructors vary in how they inform students of the mechanics of how to interact with tools, how often to interact with the online course, and how to use the tools within the online course. While these aspects of online courses are important, focusing on these aspects of the online course overshadows alternative perspectives on tool use that could encourage critical reflection by both instructors and students. To help instructors and departments design more effective syllabi and courses, this study raises questions and offers observations about how instructors communicate policies and how they understand these policies and pedagogies in online courses. In providing general guidelines for syllabus design and course design, this study will help writing instructors and composition programs better understand the significance of the choices they make in online course design.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Anatomy of a villain: play, story, and conflict in single-player video games

Description

During the first half of the last decade, there was a heated debate regarding what type of critical approach best suits the study of video games. Those who argued for

During the first half of the last decade, there was a heated debate regarding what type of critical approach best suits the study of video games. Those who argued for approaches traditionally associated with narrative studies were primarily interested in video games as a new frontier for storytelling. The opposition claimed that video games are not systems for storytelling, and that applying literature and film theories to video games dismisses the interactive nature of video games as games. The argument was bitter, but ended abruptly with no clear results or consensus. Yet are narratology and ludology, the two proposed critical theories, so disparate that the use of one means the exclusion of the other? This paper suggests the possibility that narratology and ludology share more in common than critics have thus far realized. Both games and story share themes of conflict, and in focalizing on the antagonist of single-player video games it becomes possible to trace the development of conflict and how it functions in the video game medium. In analyzing antagonists and the conflict they embody, it becomes apparent that narratology and ludology are not so incompatible in their methodologies and assumptions. Finally, because video games themselves are a multifaceted medium, it is only appropriate that critics use multiple theoretical approaches in their analysis to broaden critical knowledge of how the medium functions.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012