Web-Based Conventions (Category B) Summary: Divergence

Category B of the Assessment Tool was developed in response to two of the three main research questions guiding this study: “In what ways do Kairos webtexts diverge from print-based conventions? In what ways do the webtexts follow emerging conventions of web-based writing?” Online texts that incorporate the technological allowances of the medium (such as multi-linear design, link-node strategies of contextualization, and multimedia) are new kinds of texts that diverge from some of the familiar conventions associated with traditional print-based scholarship. These texts require new measures of assessment based on emerging conventions that guide effective scholarly writing in the online medium.

The questions in this category explore a defining connection between function and added value of emerging web-based conventions. Specifically, these questions consider whether the web-based conventions meet familiar goals of scholarship in presently unfamiliar ways. If they do meet such goals in different or innovative ways, it is important to consider what value/s they add toward creating a new genre of scholarly online text. In other words, it is important to determine what is gained (and lost) by web-based changes to scholarly forms. Answers to the Category B questions lend support to an emerging rhetoric of online writing and may reveal new goals of online scholarship. (Describing this emerging rhetoric of online scholarship is the end goal of this study; the aim is to show the methodology leading up to this rhetoric.)