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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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