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New Methods And New Research Questions For Studying Virtual Environments


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Second Life, World of Warcraft, and Facebook are where digital natives dwell. However, research methods and data analysis tools lag behind development of these virtual communities. In this paper, we will situate Transana video/audio analytic tool in the analysis of language learner virtual (inter)actions in Second Life.

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New Methods And New Research Questions For Studying Virtual Environments

  1. 1. New Methods And New Research Questions For Studying Virtual Environments Dongping Zheng Department of Second Language Studies University of Hawaii David Woods University of Wisconsin LLCMC, Hawaii, October 13 , 2009
  2. 5. How do we measure success in virtual worlds?
  3. 6. Communicative Projects (Luckmann, 1995; Linell 2009) Action agenda (rather than a topic agenda) Nested in local and global projects
  4. 7. Action-Relevant Episodes (Barab, Hay & Yamagata-Lynch, 2001) Nodes for each Initiator
  5. 8. Initiative Response Analysis (Linell, Gustavsson & Juvonen, 1988) <ul><li>Capture the interrelations between turns and episodes, respectively, sequential interdependencies in the interactional fabric </li></ul><ul><li>More quantitatively oriented coding-and-counting </li></ul>
  6. 9. Discourse Analysis (Gee, 1996) Language + other stuff (action, interaction, values, beliefs, symbols, objects, tools, and places
  7. 10. Activity Theory (Engeström, 1987, 1988, 1993; Kuttii, 1996) Figure from Lantolf & Thorne, 2006
  8. 11. Unit of Analysis Perception and Action cycle : Parity (Shaw, Kadar, Sim, & Repperger,1992; Kulikowich & Young, 2001; Fowler, 2009)
  9. 12. <ul><li>What is Transana? </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple-transcription </li></ul><ul><li>What does the data analysis process look up when primacy is assigned to action? </li></ul><ul><li>What to code? </li></ul>
  10. 14. Transcribing and Coding Action transcripts Interact transcripts Keyword groups Keywords
  11. 15. Coding- Keyword Group <ul><li>Issue at hand </li></ul><ul><li>Action initiator </li></ul><ul><li>Interacts Initiator </li></ul><ul><li>Participant </li></ul><ul><li>Resource </li></ul><ul><li>Practice </li></ul><ul><li>Location </li></ul><ul><li>Language </li></ul><ul><li>Perception-action system </li></ul><ul><li>Values </li></ul>
  12. 16. Language ( Reed, 1996) <ul><ul><li>as a perceptual system, helps us to explore where we are and where best to go next, just as walking around and looking , or poking, sniffing and handling do (Hodges, 2007) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A linguistic perceptual may make use of hands and eyes, as well as ears and vocal tracts, and not just those of one person. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not distinguishing the following 2 phases leads to serious problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>if anything in human has innate propensity, is at best to that children acquire competent with syntax and other areas language through promoted action to get to the border of linguistic community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Indicational </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The principle of references, the toddler uses words to establish a topic </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The principle of extendibility, the phenomenon of using similar words to select similar topics </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Object scope, the phenomenon that words tend to be used to indicate complete topics, objects, events and places </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Predicational </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ability to comment and communicate a topic that is outside the present context </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>requesting things that are not present in their immediate surroundings </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It is through specific cognitive, social and communicative linguistic community that children can be consolidated and generatively begins to be achieved. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 17. Perception-action System ( Reed, 1996) <ul><li>Perception </li></ul><ul><ul><li>itself tends to undergo improvement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Perceptual learning is the increasing refinement of functional exploratory activity: it is an increasing ability to extract subtler information or more extensive information, from a given situation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>there is no failure or inability to achieve some goal, but mistakes or the achievement of the wrong goal. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exploratory activity accomplished by perceptual system typically requires low-energy, low impact movements of the sense organs or the head. Information obtained in exploratory activities is useful for regulating one’s activity patterns. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Action </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reformatory action systems are divided into actions systems in which animals regulate behaviors with the inanimate environment, and </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Interaction: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>other animals are perhaps the most significant objects in the environment for us animals, the effects of living in a populated environment maybe quite strong (p. 108) where heterarchical and hierarchical interactions takes place to shape our experience. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Children’s trust in adults’ caring afford children to undertake exploratory actions and performatory actions. These actions will allow children to detect and pick up meanings and values that they would not normal perceive in immobility situations. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  14. 18. Parallel interaction (Reed, 1996)
  15. 19. Collectivized interaction (Reed, 1996) It is in the recognition of a task and it process that Reed believes counts as a collectivization of effort
  16. 20. The Effort After Value and Meaning ( Reed, 1996) <ul><li>The effort after values is based on animals’ needs to obtain the affordances they require in order to live and thrive. These motivations are what organize the action systems of a species. </li></ul><ul><li>The effort after meaning is the motivations that organize exploratory activities that make up perceptual systems. In this efforts after meaning, an animal is seeking information or knowledge, not value as such </li></ul><ul><li>In the ecological view, meanings are not imposed on meaningless stimuli, rather, in the real environment, meanings are only available for us to make the effort to take them. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reed argued that neither inheritance nor experience gives us meaning or value: together, however, they give us the means for making the effort to get meanings and values. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 21. Kate
  18. 22. Kyle
  19. 23. Al
  20. 24. What kind of research questions can we ask? Interact initiators and practices Language and practices Practices and tool use Interaction and values…
  21. 25. Transana 2.4 Allows to transcribe multiple video data
  22. 26. What really matters? <ul><li>The “niche” implies a kind of animal and the animal implies a kind of niche,” by which Gibson inferred the duality of affordances and affectivity (Gibson 1979, p. 128 ). </li></ul><ul><li>“ Affordance Networks ” cuts across the dichotomy of subjective-objective (Barab & Roth, 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Reflexivity” : Language simultaneously reflects reality and constructs it to be a certain way in that language and context feed off each other constantly dynamically (Gee1999, p. 82) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Relations” : relationship between people and the world, affordance signals an opportunity for action (van Lier, 2004, p.18) </li></ul>
  23. 27. Flow Dao Jesus <ul><li>Flow (Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, 1988) </li></ul><ul><li>「曲则全,枉则直,洼则盈,敝则新,少则得,多则惑 (Laozi/ Lao Tzu 6 th Century BC , Chapter 22: 6-7). </li></ul><ul><li>Known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor yet making many rich; having nothing; and yet possessing everything (2 Corinthians 6: 9-10). </li></ul>
  24. 28. Flow Zone for Game Design
  25. 29.
  26. 30. Non-Linear Trajectory and Emergent Goals Heterarchical Value-realizing