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PhD Qualifying Exam Question 5

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Note: A draft of my questions for my PhD qualifying exam is due 09/24/10 for feedback from my Dissertation Seminar professor and peers. I will then submit them to my dissertation chair for more critique before submitting my final questions10/01/10 . I’ll be writing answers to these questions 10/15/10 – 10/18/10. Your thoughts and suggestions are welcome as I continue to polish, rewrite, panic… Well, you get the point. Please feel free to comment.

Question 5: Contributing to the Field

As colleges and universities expand their online learning options and offerings, fostering online community becomes increasingly important to prevent distance student attrition and promote more effective learning outcomes. Recognizing that a social media tool can enhance a sense of online classroom community (Potts, Gossett & Rhodes, 2010), identify best practices for integrating social media into the course design and briefly discuss some of the advantages of using it.  Be sure to situate your answer in a brief review of the scholarship that supports social media in online education. [revised 09/27/10]

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PhD Qualifying Exam Question 2

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Note: A draft of my questions for my PhD qualifying exam is due 09/24/10 for feedback from my Dissertation Seminar professor and peers. I will then submit them to my dissertation chair  for more critique before submitting my final questions10/01/10 . I’ll be writing answers to these questions 10/15/10 – 10/18/10. Your thoughts and suggestions are welcome as I continue to polish, rewrite, panic… Well, you get the point. Please feel free to comment.

Question 2: Area of Specialization (Online Community)

Kling and Courtright (2003) observe that “many uses of the term community are, in fact, aspirational rather than empirically grounded.” As a result, it is important to note that we do not know how often community actually develops in classrooms and that assumptions that community exists in many or even most classrooms may be incorrect (Cook, 1995). While it is possible to maintain community online, it should not be taken for granted (Haythornthwaite et al, 2000). Explore the concept of online classroom community discussing how its presence can be confirmed or disconfirmed and offering strategies and a rationale for fostering it. [revised 09/27/10]

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PhD Qualifying Exam Question 4

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Note: A draft of my questions for my PhD qualifying exam is due 09/24/10 for feedback from my Dissertation Seminar professor and peers. I will then submit them to my dissertation chair  for more critique before submitting my final questions10/01/10 . I’ll be writing answers to these questions 10/15/10 – 10/18/10. Your thoughts and suggestions are welcome as I continue to polish, rewrite, panic… Well, you get the point. Please feel free to comment.

Question 4: Methodology

For as long as there have been speakers and audiences, there has been backchannel communication — whether as a whispered aside or, later, a passed note. However, the rapid development of increasingly sophisticated digital tools and widespread availability of wireless internet access has afforded the creation of larger, virtual backchannel spaces. Yardi (2006) argues that digital backchannel “offers a unique communication medium, a novel toolkit through which students can create, identify, and filter new modes of learning.” But, not all speakers and teachers agree. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of digital backchannel and discuss how and whether this virtual space could be more effectively integrated into classroom or presentation settings. [revised 09/27/10]

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PhD Qualifying Exam Question 3

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Note: A draft of my questions for my PhD qualifying exam is due 09/24/10 for feedback from my Dissertation Seminar professor and peers. I will then submit them to my dissertation chair  for more critique before submitting my final questions10/01/10 . I’ll be writing answers to these questions 10/15/10 – 10/18/10. Your thoughts and suggestions are welcome as I continue to polish, rewrite, panic… Well, you get the point. Please feel free to comment.

Question 3: Area of Specialization (Digital Backchannel)

For as long as there have been speakers and audiences, there has been backchannel communication — whether as a whispered aside or, later, a passed note. However, the rapid development of increasingly sophisticated digital tools and widespread availability of wireless internet access has afforded the creation of larger, virtual backchannel spaces. Yardi (2006) argues that digital backchannel “offers a unique communication medium, a novel toolkit through which students can create, identify, and filter new modes of learning.” But, not all speakers and teachers agree. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of digital backchannel and discuss how and whether this virtual space could be more effectively integrated into classroom or presentation settings. [revised 09/27/10]

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PhD Qualifying Exam Question 1

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Note: A draft of my questions for my PhD qualifying exam is due 09/24/10 for feedback from my Dissertation Seminar professor and peers. I will then submit them to my dissertation chair  for more critique before submitting my final questions10/01/10 . I’ll be writing answers to these questions 10/15/10 – 10/18/10. Your thoughts and suggestions are welcome as I continue to polish, rewrite, panic… Well, you get the point. Please feel free to comment.

Question 1: Situating your work in English Studies

The term “new media” is contested in the field with definitions generally based either in a concept of multimodality (such as Ball and Wysocki) or centered on a particular technology (such as Manovich and Bolter and Grusin). Compare these scholars’ definitions of new media and discuss the implications of these divergent positions for English Studies. [revised 09/27/10]

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