Troy Livingston, Beck Tench and Jeff Grabill discuss what they learned through using rhetorical analysis with social media experiences created at a science museum. We also share our framework for how to facilitate learning in online spaces.
Introduction. So, I've been asked to say a little bit about why this project exists. To do that, I want to back up and ask the question why do museums, zoos and other cultural organizations exist at all? I would argue that noted management consultant, Peter Drucker, was correct when he said, "the changed human being." We exist to help people more fully realize their humanity, their vision for themselves, to support them in becoming more powerful, more creative, more alive.
Understanding Online Interaction
In Facilitation, our investigation of online activity also relied on
discourse analysis to characterize that activity:
• Change in action, thinking or
• Sympathy or empathy that shows
a change in thought or feeling
• Use of technical or scientific
concepts or language
• Other change move
Articulation of shared roles or
• Invocation of place, evidence, or
• Use of values, affect, or
• Other DE move
• Introducing ideas
• Suggesting follow up actions
• Demonstrating sympathy or
• Demonstrating respect for
perspective or identity
• Invitations (to connect, to
• Construction of connection
between ideas or people
There are three facilitation moves that are associated with
2. Construction of connections between people and
Groups matter. Achieving some level of “groupness” is likely
necessary for success in online environments.
“Experimonth itself” has agency:
1. Activities that create heightened awareness
2. Activities that ask people to share
3. Technology and cultures that allow for meaningful
conversations to happen
4. Experimonth facilitators
Facilitation Moves and Learning
Beck: Rode - I wonder how this treatment of humor jives with the
"We're a Culture, Not a Costume" discussion we were having over
Ronelle: Beck, I thought about that when I posted it. I think that
in doing this experimonth it has led us to notice this or be
more hyper aware of the things and images around us.
It has sparked conversations and led me to ask questions about
myself, to identify the things about myself that may be racist or that I
may take offense to.
This was something that made me laugh a little and made me also
Facilitation Moves and Learning
Beck: Tamberly - This question reminded me of The Invisible
Knapsack, which a friend shared with me a long time ago.
Tamberly: This was an interesting article.
It made me wonder what can be done to begin to
unravel these intertwined belief systems to get to a place
where everyone is on equal footing.
It also made me wonder if it can ever happen as most in
power don't see reason to relinquish it :/
Groupness is an event and process. Sometimes it
happens, sometimes it doesn’t. There is both growth and
decay, life and death.
We see indicators of groupness in activity. Many but not
all acts of groupness are communicative or
communication practices are the sources for indicators of
Moves to set boundaries—we moments, us and them
moments, and so on—are important indicators.
Also important are things that are shared: norms,
practices, identities, emotions, ideas, values, work (this list
is not intended to be exhaustive).