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.)