Virtual Conferences

Those of us who had been collaborating on chapters, conference presentations, and other projects via e-mail and IRC rapidly came to see the advantages of having work sessions on MOOs to speed progress. We got used to having meetings on a MOO, despite the rather fragmented conversational threads. In fact, we joined the ranks of organizations and groups holding online conferences to supplement or even replace face-to-face conferences. The Netoric Project sponsored a series of open houses for academic administrators to learn about MUDs and MOOs in 1993 and 1994, and conference sessions for The College Conference on Composition and Communication and the Computers and Writing Conference have been held on MOOs since 1994.

In fact, this year the Teaching in a Community College (TCC) conference, led by Professor James Shimabukuro of Kapiolani Community College, moved completely on line. In "TCC Online Conference," Judi Kirkpatrick, Assistant Professor of English at Kapiolani Community College, explains how an academic conference can make use of a MOO for engagement, interaction, and exchange among participants. Kirkpatrick shows us how the MOO components were developed to complement other online components, such as e-mail, discussion groups, and World Wide Web pages, and describes the birth of the Coconut Cafe on DaMOO to accomodate discussions of the TCC online conference.

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