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Measured Steps: An Exploratory Study in Mulitmodal Literacy and Learning


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Short paper for the LILAC 2010 Conference, Limerick, Ireland

Short paper for the LILAC 2010 Conference, Limerick, Ireland

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  • 1. Measured Steps: An Exploratory Study in Multimodal Literacy and Learning Sean Cordes Assistant Professor Western Illinois University United States
  • 2. Net Gen Students-Background Special Sheltered Confident Team-Oriented Achieving Pressured Conventional Millennials Go To College (2003) by Neil Howe and William Strauss.
  • 3. The Case Population
    • 22 Subjects
    • 18-25 Y/O
    • 11M/11F
    • 14 Disciplines
    • 64% Soft Science
    • 46% Hard Science
    • 82% cms
    • 22% Blog/Wiki
    • 9% Web Page / Video
  • 4. The Project Task Web Site Develop a research question and develop a presentation web site of 6 task oriented pages using multiple content types and tools.
  • 5. Data Collection
    • Activity Logs
    • Email
    • Observation
    • Interaction
  • 6. Areas of Inquiry
    • Unit of Analysis -Negative critical incidents that occurred in individual subject cases during project development
    • 3 Areas of Inquiry explored with dependent variables for 13 categories
      • Tasks performed to develop the project web pages (6)
      • Mediating areas of the activity system as outlined in Activity Theory (3)
      • Stages of Polya’s problem solving process (4)
  • 7. Data Analysis
    • 260 Log Entries
    • 159 Critical Incidents
    • Coded using SPSS for Windows (Version 18.0)
    • Log posting analyzed for negative critical incidents
    • Coded incidents as dichotomous entries according to corresponding category of each area of inquiry
    The journal article was the hardest thing that I had with my project.  For instance, everything I wrote inside the boxes kept getting erased .  Journal Article, Execution, Tools and Artifacts
  • 8. Findings-Quantitative
    • Task Related Incidents
    Books Images Videos Journal Articles Bookmark Pages Student Pages Task Totals Frequency 32 48 30 25 29 15 179 Percent 17.9% 26.8% 16.7% 14.0% 16.2% 8.4% 100%
  • 9. Findings-Quantitative
    • Problem Solving Stage Incidents
    Problem Solving Understanding Planning Execution Reflection Totals Frequency 9 52 71 47 179 Percent 5.0% 29.1% 39.7% 26.2% 100%
  • 10. Findings-Quantitative
    • Activity System Area Incidents
    Mediating Activity System Areas Tools and Artifacts Rules and Regulations Division of Labor Totals Frequency 147 9 23 179 Percent 82.1% 5.0% 12.9% 100%
  • 11. Findings-Quantitative
    • Problem Solving and the Activity System
    Shared Incidents Tools and Artifacts Rules and Regulations Division of Labor Totals Understanding 9, 5.0% 0, 0.0% 0, 0.0% 9, 5.0% Planning 45, 25.1% 5, 2.8% 2, 1.2% 52, 29.1% Execution 52, 29.1% 2, 1.1% 17, 9.5% 71, 39.7% Reflection 41, 22.9% 2, 1.1% 4, 2.2% 47, 26.2% Frequency, Percent 147, 82.1% 9, 5.0% 23, 12.9% 179, 100%
  • 12. Findings-Quantitative
    • Gender Related Incidents-Women in the study accounted for 112 of 179 critical incidents (62.6%).
    Incidents by Gender Male Female Total Frequency 67 112 179 Percent 37.4% 62.6% 100%
  • 13. Associations-Phi
    • Journal Article Task and Planning
      • Phi .168 Approx Sig .024
    • Tools & Artifacts and Execution
      • Phi -.188 Approx Sig .012
    • Division of Labor and Planning
      • Phi -.172 Sig .021
    • Division of Labor and Execution
      • Phi .269 Sig .000
    Cross tabulation using the Phi Statistic for 2 x 2 Tables with dichotomous dependent variables found slight significant associations between the following pairs.
  • 14. Findings-Qualitative
    • Constant Comparative Method used to ….
      • Compare incidents
      • Identify concepts
      • Identify properties
      • Integrate categories
  • 15. Conceptual Themes
    • From the comparison and integration of categorical data, 5 distinct themes emerged regarding critical incidents across the information work process…
      • Developing Presentation Structures
      • Developing Information Seeking Strategies
      • Working Between Separate Web Sites
      • Social and Environmental Impositions
      • A Priori Skill Impact
  • 16. Developing Presentation Structures
  • 17. Developing Presentation Structures
    • Frequent problems were encountered with process related actions for creating pages and navigation links, inserting and formatting text and images, and displaying objects.
      • Everything I wrote inside the boxes kept getting erased. Then I found the save button.
      • I sat there for like a minute with my curser over the menu name waiting for it to pop down... NOPE! You have to go over to the little down arrow icon.
  • 18. Information Seeking Strategies
  • 19. Information Seeking Strategies
    • Student descriptions frequently noted the need to revise strategies to accommodate the different search tools using You Tube, Library Thing, Google Image Search, and the Academic Search Premier database
      • All the various sites and applications want a different phrase in the search bar, so I basically have to find out what is the best phrasing and combination of words.
      • I had to revise my search a couple of times like with most other applications and search for a while to find exactly what I wanted.
      • The main problems I had was the videos wasn't putting them on my page, it was being able to find them in the first place. I had to use a variety of different search terms to find what I did.
  • 20. Working Between Web Sites
  • 21. Working Between Web Sites
    • Many incidents were related to the execution of actions working between external web sites, such as …
      • Finding the control to upload or tag content.
      • Breakdowns when connecting separate websites to the Google site to present information.
        • When I posted them into the bookmark on delicious, sometimes the title would come out weird too, and I'd have to change it slightly to better reflect the site that it came from.
        • I tried to insert the books but they were not showing up. I had to email the teacher about that, the reason was I did not put my user name.
  • 22. Social and Environmental Impositions
  • 23. Social and Environmental Impositions
    • A few critical incidents occurred in the area of rules and regulations, or the computing environment. These typically involved …
      • Copyright issues
      • Evaluating content for credibility
      • Inappropriate content for the classroom
      • Breakdowns in hardware, software, or internet connectivity
        • I used the class examples again to see how to go about citing the videos.
        • I had to be careful with YouTube because a lot of the videos are just really random or have zero creditability.
        • With a topic like piercings and tattoos there was the potential for images that would not be appropriate for class.
        • I was working on my page and all of a sudden all of the internet pages shut down.
  • 24. A Priori Skill Impact
  • 25. A Priori Skill Impact
    • Some students noted lack of experience using technology which created tension regarding the project work. After working through the project, some reflections displayed a sense of increased empowerment and efficacy.
      • I am technologically challenged. This is a great learning experience, but I am getting so tired that I am going to call someone who knows what they are doing.
      • This project was all about trial and error, and a little more error! I was really proud of myself though. When it comes to computers I see if someone can do it for me or give up.
      • The Net irritates me!
  • 26. Summary
    • Understanding dynamics of student technology use key to academic success
    • Students have varied levels of skills and experience
    • Ability to transfer skills between tools key to execution of tasks
    • Ability to understand dynamics of digital interaction suspect
    • Subjects more adept at accessing information than developing and presenting it
    • Wide range of access modes suggests instruction in the organization of information to facilitate effective sourcing
  • 27. Measured (next) Steps
    • Implement Hypothesis Testing
    • Examine the impact of Experience
    • Examine the impact of search tool variation on the information seeking process
    • Define and examine the role of complexity in presenting information using online tools