13.0155 urgent, fast-breaking MOO-flash

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Tue, 24 Aug 1999 21:48:32 +0100 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 13, No. 155.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

Date: Tue, 24 Aug 1999 21:46:35 +0100
From: Sharon Cogdill <scogdill@STCLOUDSTATE.EDU>
Subject: MOO and teaching literature

Apologies for cross-posting...

In case anybody's interested in learning more about using synchronous
communication software (in this case, MOO) for their classes, I'm going to
be talking -- or, rather, writing -- at the Netoric Cafe tonight. MOO is
based on old role-playing gaming software, which gives it advantages over
typical "chat" software because it was designed to facilite the
construction of online personality and identity.

The Cafe meets this evening, Tuesday, 24 August 1999, at 8:00 EDT, which I
think is, unfortunately, 0200 GMT.

Please forgive the self-promotion, but it has occurred to me for some time
to re-introduce on this list the idea of using MOO in classes. It has
succeeded for me in Victorian novels classes where the reading load is
particularly heavy to help solve the problems of helping students achieve
at least a degree of critical sophistication.

Electronic discourse, as you know even if all you've ever done is be a
member of a busy listserv, has certain characteristics that can make it
better than f2f or print discourse for some kinds of interactions. The
multi-threadedness, for example, can lead to meta-discussions that can
show us associations between seemingly disparate ideas as they spin
themselves out. When students are able to connect two or three different
threads in a discussion of a complex novel like _David Copperfield_ or
_Tess of the d'Urbervilles_, for example, they are engaged at a scale
I've never otherwise seen them achieve -- at least in my classes. It
hasn't happened to me often, but when it has it's been exhilirating.

I'm not making a case here for, say, distance learning, a radically
different conversation from this. I am saying, though, that I've been
able to approach some resistant pedagogical problems using MOO and even
listserv software in a Victorian novels class.

You don't have to have special software to take part in the discussion
tonight if you have Telnet available to you somehow, but using just Telnet
will make expressing yourself more difficult. More information in general
can be found at the Netoric homepage:

Sorry, again, for the self-promotion, but this seemed like the perfect
opportunity to put this issue in front of this group.

Sharon Cogdill
St. Cloud State University

>Join Netoric's Tuesday Cafe Discussion
>August 24, 1999
>8:00 p.m. EDT
>in Netoric's Tuesday Cafe, on Connections
>Community Profile: A Visit with Sharon Cogdill
>New to Netoric?
>Go to Netoric's Home Page:
>You'll find information about the Netoric Project, and links to helpsheets
>for getting connected to and exploring Connections as a guest.
>Once you're connected to Connections and feel oriented,
>use this command to get to the Cafe:
>walk to Tuesday Cafe
>-> Netoric's home page also has logs of Netoric events! <-
>-> To join Netoric with a permanent Connections character: <-
>Email Tari, James, Greg, or Cindy (addresses below). Say that you want a
>Connections character in order to join the Netoric Project. Give your
>first and second choices for your character's name and the email address
>to which we should register your character and send your new character
>info. Or you're welcome to log in as a guest and attend events that
>interest you.
>At this week's Cafe, we invite you to visit with Netoric community
>member, Sharon Cogdill (or SCog, as you may know her), who'll
>share some of her ideas about electronic communities and possibilities.
>As a Victorianist, SCog holds a unique position in the Netoric community and
>in the computers and writing community in general, one from which she can
>contextualize community events and interactions in interesting ways. We've
>her in particular to share some of the different ways she imagines
>between the Victorian era and contemporary computers and writing
>dialogues, and we've also invited her to share ideas about what it's like
>to be one of few literature specialists amongst Netoric regulars.
>As she always does, we know SCog will have wonderful things to share
>with everyone, and we invite you to join us at the Cafe, both to learn
>from her experiences and views and to celebrate her many important
>contributions to Netoric.
>See you at the Cafe!
>Tuesday Cafe ------- Electronic Conferences ------ Special Events
>Tari Fanderclai, The MITRE Corporation, tari@nwe.ufl.edu
>James Inman, Furman University, james.inman@furman.edu
>Greg Siering, Ball State University, 00gjsiering@bsuvc.bsu.edu
>Cindy Wambeam, New Mexico State University, cwambeam@nmsu.edu
>Netoric_Announcements is the announcements-only list for Netoric Project
>news. If you want to join the list or be removed from it, simply
>send mail to tari@nwe.ufl.edu.

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