Kairos Editorial Board Conference

During the preparation of this webtext, I conducted a MOO-based conference with Lee Honeycutt and Dickie Selfe within the Editorial Board review process. It was no surprise that several of Lee and Dickie's suggestions for revision found their way into the article, and it was only natural for me to annotate the log of the conversation in order to reflect upon my writing, revision, and overall conception of this project. I include the annotated log as a postscript to this article in order to illustrate the metacognitive process working at a professional level and to represent my own collaborative, reflective writing process during the production of this project.

LeeH asks, "Joel, can you email me a copy of this log when we're through today?" 

Joel says, "of course." 

dickies arrives. 

Joel smiles at dickies.

dickies says, "hi y'all, sorry to be late. using a new moo client. Winworld" 

LeeH says, "Hey Dickie" 

LeeH says, "Hey dickie" 

Joel says, "howdy pal. No prob. we haven't even started." 

Joel says, "we've been making coffee and such." 

Joel says, "help yourself."

I'm glad dickie made it.  I was assuming he was too busy.
Joel pours a hot cup of Swiss Mocha Almond coffee, stirs, and enjoys. 

Joel [to dickies]: you know you have a registered character here

Nobody cared for coffee
dickies says, "I have to admit that I'm here to listen mostly and then visit your web extensively early next week." 

dickies knows he's got a character but forgets of course the password 

Joel says, "sounds good. lee was running through some of the nodes right now, so we weren't quite ready to go yet anyway." 

We had a good session today.  I wonder if he'll come up with much more stuff. 
LeeH says, "Dickie, I'm still reading through parts of Joe's site, but I'll go ahead with a few items to get things rolling, if that's okay." 

dickies says, "g'ahead" 

Joel suggests that dickie try some of the obvious password options: whitefish, pasty, snow....mudbrains? 

Joel . o O ( what was that dog's name? ) 

dickies says, "moosebrain" 

Joel says, "ahh. Moosebrain." 

Joel laughs. 

dickies has disconnected. 

The housekeeper arrives to remove dickies. 

LeeH asks, "Joel, these comments are based on the node: http://www.bsu.edu/classes/english/k2.3/advantage.html. I like what Codgill has to say about reflection in MOOs, but is MOOing as reflective as you claim them to be. In other words, have any of your student's expressed problems with reading the MOO logs and commenting upon how the speed of MOOs might actually constrain reflection?" 

dickies arrives. 

Joel says, "reads your comment, thinking and glancing back at the codgill section. just a sec." 

LeeH says, "Dickie, since you seemed to be disconnected during my question, I'll repeat it: Joel, these comments are based on the node: http://www.bsu.edu/classes/english/k2.3/advantage.html. I like what Codgill has to say about reflection in MOOs, but is MOOing as reflective as you claim them to be. In other words, have any of your student's expressed problems with reading the MOO logs and commenting upon how the speed of MOOs might actually constrain reflection?"" 

dickies says, "Thanks for repeating"

Interestingly, none of my students have, though I know this is an issue, because so many people talk about it.  I guess this raises the question: does speed, or the increase of speed, equal the decrease in potential for online reflection?  In a way, it does.  In another it doesn't.  But with that, does the decrease in online reflection increase the potential for offline reflection later?  I'm not sure.
Joel knows what you mean, Lee. And while, no, my students haven't specifically articulated that, I know that it is certainly true, especially in large group settings, that reading back through comments and reflecting (like I have been doing on your question for the past minute-or-so) is not possible: stuff goes too fast. 

Joel says, "that being said..." 

Joel says, "let me offer two responses, and let me see how this strikes you..." 

LeeH says, "Go ahead. And just to follow up, I guess I should distinguish between two kinds of reflection -- the reflection of those *commenting* on the document and the reflection of the *authors* after the fact, when they print the transcript and annotate it."

This is the key.  It's different for large group. 

Well, I wouldn't say it's not possible.  But it's a lot harder, especially if you're really trying to follow the discussion closely.

Joel says, "It's probably no coincidence that the three kinds of activities I illustrate and draw from are one-on-one or three-on-three activities. What I skip is the Large group activities, which don't allow such reflection because of the speed issue. I suppose I should consider whether this is okay for me to do without mentioning it...because as is, without me addressing that selection process, it sounds like I'm trying to *dodge* the fact that large group activity is, shall I say, too fast-paced to be reflective on each statement by participants, or even by each thread of conversation." 

Joel says, "sorry 'bout all those lines." 

Joel says, "in a second response to your question, let me distinguish between two more kinds of reflection, both of which are contained within the first type of "online, synchronous reflection"--Schon's reflection-IN-action:"

right.  And this is prolly what most people use MOO for.
dickies says, "Joel, the lines are fine for me. I do think you should be upfront about which activities you are choosing to talk about and briefly mention what use the full group activities are." Yep.  I need at least a node discussing this.  Perhaps off the examples node.
LeeH says, "Don't apologize. I like big chunks o' text. I think you've hit on a key issue about group size. I've found synchronous conferencing to be real effective for smaller groups, but I've personally found large group MOOs to be sort of reactive instead of reflective." 

LeeH says, "Yes, Dickie, I think an explanation of the full group activities might need mentioning."

yes.  well put--reactive not reflective.  Yet, is "reflective reaction" not reflective?
Joel says, "1) the obvious kind is reading through each other's words and our own words, thinking (reflecting) and otherwise metacognating. This is the kind that perhaps works less the more people are taking part. 2) the less obvious kind is the fact that the very activity of being online TALKING about writing is reflective--on the writing that we're TALKING about. And in that sense, yes, even big group discussion on writing is reflective on that." 

dickies says, "I was online with cindy the other night and she never writes less than a full paragraph, even in MOOs" 

Joel doesn't think he makes this distinction very clear, if at all, in his text. 

dickies asks, "makes sense. One is a reflection on the content of another's writing and t'other is about the act of writing itself?" 

LeeH says, "I can relate, Dickie. I just think in big chunks o' text these days."

I should make this distinction in the paper.
dickies asks, "... is a reflection on the act of writing itselfe?" 

LeeH says, "yes, makes good sense to me also. If you think you need to make such a distinction, then you probably do, but I'll leave it up to you." 

dickies thinking about cindy's habit and what Sharon Cogdill says 

LeeH asks, "dickie is "reflecting," huh?"

I get it.
Joel agrees that I need to explain about this...the lack of large group stuff is obvious to anyone who's used MOOs (I'm a poet---who's used MOOs) in the classroom. But at the same time, Lee says that large group sessions are more *reactive* than reflective...and I'd say that they are "reactive within the discussion of the writing process" (when they work well), and are therefore reflective only in that bigger sense--talking about writing--and not in that more intricate sense--reflective on the very words taking place. 

dickies says, "Cindy just says what she wants in the time she needs and let's others hang until she's finished, editing included. Sharon seems to be saying that folks don't mind this process." 

Joel nods at dickies.

Slow down.  You mean less reflective in this way, not not reflective.
LeeH asks, "Joel, I think that what you say about large groups is good. Perhaps such large groups give people a better reflection on gut audience reaction and social context than close textual reflection. Is this what you're saying?" I really wasn't saying all of this, but I think it's true.
Joel sees a smaller node coming off of the "advantages.html" node discribing what we're talking about--the reasons that, perhaps, large group sessions, though not at all non-fruitful, don't have as much potential for online reflection because of their speed; which, I must say, gives them even more potential for the offline reflection--annotating the logs. 

Joel is saying that, Lee. And that is definitely what can be learned by reflecting on the log later. 

Joel says, "let me give an example..."

or examples.html 


dickies thinks "huh, large group sessions as a way to sensitize students to the imediate needs of an audience thru participation with that audience. A tech. writing activity!! 

Joel says, "When I discuss the concept of "ethos" in my classroom, first we read a few essays in which the authors have strong voices and opinions, and we discuss the essays in the full-class large-group setting. Using Lee's term, indeed, it makes for a very reactive class period. Even if not everyone has something to say at the beginning of class, the kairos of the moment(s) always lead every student to saying some important things." 

LeeH says, "Joel, I think you've hit upon something. Perhaps the larger group MOOs, with their speed-fueled surface reflection, force students looking at the transcripts after the fact to fill in the "missing" pieces of what might have been addressed with deeper reflection (and bigger chunks o' text)."

Joel says, "yet the real power comes during the next class period..."

yep.  A rhetorical activity all the way around.
LeeH says, "That would be key to this process. Encouraging reflection to extend through multiple class periods." 

Joel says, "I hand out the logs, and I ask every student to circle where *they* talk online, and discuss in the margins how they "sounded", how they came across, and how what they said caused the conversation to go in one direction or another....they are then analyzing their *own* ethos right there on the log." 

dickies thinks the joel guy is pretty smart... 

Joel has an epiphany 

Joel has done the wrong thing by avoiding large group examples! 

LeeH says, "I agree, Dickie, smart epiphanal dude." 

Joel says, "what I should do is give a large group example, and talk about the lack of apparent online reflection, but then show how that tends to increase the potential for offline (log) reflection." 

dickies gets Judy on the line, "Epiphany headquarters, we have an event in progress at ... 

Joel laughs at dickies. 

Joel wonders if Lee really thinks I'm epiph-anal. 

dickies says, "You're dissertating, you have to be epiph-anal. I'll suggest it to some of our grads." 

Joel asks, "so what would you think if I do go ahead and discuss the difference with large group discussions--the differently-oriented discussion. And then give an example of the largegroup log, with a few examples of what a few different student did with the logs?" 

LeeH says, "I'm laughing too. And no, Joel, not epiph-anal. Just chasing ideas." 

Joel says, "when I said "differently-oriented discussion" I meant "differently-oriented reflection"\" 

dickies asks, "two related questions: is there time for more in the kairos publishing cycle and is this all going into chapters of your diss?" 

dickies thinks its a good idea regardless of the answers 

Joel says, "related? I wonder how? Question 1: I still don't know the exact publishing dates or deadlines on this issue of K, though I haven't heard from Mick lately, and I know they don't even have the InterMOO scheduled to take place. So there should certainly be time. Question 2: I bet it will be in the diss, Dickie. With my interest in online cognition and metacognition, I don't see how I *wouldn't* land on that as part of my research into my data. However, I haven't solidified anything yet, going through all those mounds of stuff. We'll know closer at CCCC time. :)" 

dickies says, "epiph-anal: attending to small epiphanies that can come on you at any moment but anal about attending to the writing and details of supportive arguements." 

LeeH says, "Joel, I wouldn't worry too much about the Kairos deadline. I haven't seen an issue yet that used any kind of terminal cutoff point. We'll hear from them when things get critical." 

Joel says, "epiph-canal: the defunct idea that mule-drawn flatboats could take you anywhere you wanted to go in the U.S." 

Joel says, "sorry." 

Joel has a question that I raised in an earlier email. The length of nodes. 

Joel says, "Lee said that he wouldn't go over 2 screens or so. The "metacog.html" node and the "advantage.html" link are 4 screens (on my 15" monitor), and the "discussion.html" link is 5 screens." 

Joel asks, "what do we think about this?" 

dickies asks, "I'm sorry, but duties call but I'm very anxious to read the whole banana and comment. Will this log be somewhere?" 


Joel says, "I know that hypertext likes to be more intertextual and less linear, but at least for the former two nodes, I think they do a nice job building an argument linearly (though they do have a few links)" 

Joel [to dickies]: yes. I'll post it, and quite certainly even use it in this webtext. I can email you a copy if you like, or just send you the url. 

LeeH says, "Joel, my thinking on node length is this. Some people talk about "native" hypertext as if there were some kind of style manual out there dictating node length. But some of these did seem a little long. So think about either editing them down a bit or breaking them up, if you see logical breaking points. Otherwise, I wouldn't worry too much about it. If people like what they're reading, they'll go the extra scroll." 

LeeH says, "See you later, Dickie. Glad you could drop by for at least a short time." 

Where did we get the idea that intertextuality means short?  That non-linear means short?  This is constricting to me.
dickies thinks, good, "go the extra scroll." 

dickies has disconnected. 

The housekeeper arrives to remove dickies. 

Joel says, "I know that I can break up the discussion.html node. I could give a little forward to the discussion, and have two main nodes: the discussion of the reflection ON action, and the discussion on the reflection IN action." 

LeeH asks, "Joel, I'll leave such editing up to your good senses, okay?" 

Joel says, "cool." 

LeeH says, "I did have a few other questions. In http://www.bsu.edu/classes/english/k2.3/discussion.html, you mention that the peer response session was less productive. You don't necessarily have to add this in, but I'm curious as to why you thought so." 

Joel says, "in regards to the native hypertext thing: even though this started as a conference paper, it really is a native hypertext: I conceived it and wrote it in nodes. But for me, "nodes" just didn't mean "short". Longer streams of argument just seemed to work naturally...natively." 

LeeH says, "I agree"" 

Joel asks, "did you follow the link there? The one that kind of qualified the "somewhat less productive" idea? The link is misnamed...it's called "unproductive.html". I don't mean unproductive, but I just named the address that. Did you read that node?" 

LeeH says, "No, but I just clicked over. I didn't see the link, for some reason."" 

Joel says, "read that and tell me how you respond" 

If we like text so much, why have we dictated shorter nodes?
LeeH says, "Good node. Synch and asynch peer response is the subject of my dissertation, and I've found some of the response logs to be much the same, though others have been really productive. But you experience sounds similar to what I've seen many times."  Wow.  MOO? Or classroom software?  Wonder what he's using for synch?
Joel says, "i probably don't make this clear enough...but several of the peer groups actually WERE quite productive, and very focused. Perhaps predictably, they only focused on one or two of the students' essays, rather than all three of them. There just wasn't enough time for all of them. But I chose this one, one that was somewhat less productive, because of the interesting stuff they do in reflection." 

Joel wonders if he makes that clear enough. 

LeeH says, "Might want to add a one-line clarifier." 

Joel's eyes widen. Really? Your diss is on syn and asynch peer respons. Wowzers. As you heard dickie and I kinda refering to, my diss is on MOObased activities in the classroom, but I haven't filed it down to really exact terms yet. I hope have it focused in the next coupla weeks. 

Joel will clarify with a few statements. 

make this clear
LeeH says, "Joel, I just looked at your conclusion, and I want to make a suggestion that you can either accept or refuse, it's your call. This node is rather short, possibly for one reason. The longer nodes you asked about earlier might have spilled their conclusive beans too soon, so you might consider taking some of the more conclusive statements from these nodes and moving them to the final conclusion. Does this make sense. It would balance out the cognitive node-load for readers (sorry)." 

Joel is going clicking through to see if I had other questions for you. 

Joel laughs node-load. 

Do this.  Then you won't have to break up the discussion node.
Joel says, "yes. perhaps there are some conclusionary elements in the discussion.html that could be moved there." 

Joel says, "I bet there are." 

Joel will look at that. 

Joel says, "You're right, too. When I got the conclusion (which I felt sorta obliged to have), I sorta froze: what do I say now? But some could prolly come out of the discussion to go there." 

LeeH asks, "At this point, I've read through most of the surface nodes. Is this site very deep in terms of structure, or are most nodes a click or two from the opening page?" 

Joel says, "click or two. In fact, I wrote in no "index.html" page, so you can just take off the node title tag to see all of the files in the k2.3 directory, and see if you've seen them all." 

Joel asks, "know what I mean?" 

LeeH says, "That's the sense I got in reading your conclusion. That you had spilled your guts too much in the earlier nodes and didn't have anything left to say in the conclusion." 

Joel exclaims, "considers deleting all material in the conclusion and typing: Draw your own conclusions!" 

Joel says, "naw, better not." 

LeeH says, "Yeah, I know what you mean about the no "index.html" directory. Let me go there real quick and take a look. Hang on." 

Joel says, "all the postamanda.html, postchris.html, post...html nodes are their post-essay reflections, and all the nodes that have the student names are their logs. Otherwise, the files are nodes." 

Too much?  or just "a lot"?
LeeH says, "yeah, I got that from looking at the directory. One thing you might consider in the navigation table on the left side is this: when a reader goes to a certain node and you highlight that node in the navigation table, you might want to add bulleted links *below* that highlighted name that reflect all the tertiary nodes associated with it? Does this make sense, and if so, do you think it's stupid? Undoable. A waste of time? For example, "shutup.html" seems to be an important node, but I didn't see a link to it in the navigation table." 

LeeH says, "Gee, I'm like Cindy. Typing whole frippin' paragraphs." 

I don't know.  It could really get messy.  Plus, there are som nodes that are linked to several of the bigger nodes.  Would this get in the way?  hmmm.
 Joel likes paragraphs too. Hmm...have we built a big netoric fable by saying only write in short messages? 

Joel says, "I know what you mean about the nodes listed underneat." 

LeeH says, "I don't know. On second thought, it might be too much of a pain and merely clutter your navigation dealy." 

Joel says, "I think it's important too. I'm with you. You're right, Shutup.html is important, and it's sorta hidden. I don't have a site map, because there are relatively few tertiary nodes...not all the bigger nodes have smaller ones. At the same time, my lefthand nav bar could get pretty ugly." 

LeeH says, "At any rate, I'm going to have to run in a second, but before we close, do you have any questions or sections that you want me to look at over the weekend that I could response to via email? I think the site as a whole is pretty much ready to go and that revisions are at your discretion." 

Joel says, "let me think about that. There are a few tertiary links that I really want to be read: shutup is one of them. So is never.html" 

Joel says, "I'll think about that." 

Joel says, "otherwise, nope, that's all the issues I wanted to cover." 

Have to ask Bill Condon.
Joel asks, "Let me tell you that I will certainly be using this log in my revision; I'll be marking it up too, cause I really believe in that process (or I wouldn't be writing this article). There is a chance, too, that I'll put up this annotated log as one of my examples (though i prolly won't use it in my discussion). Is that okay with you, if I post your material?" 

LeeH says, "Well then, I'll let you deal with the navigation thing and any other revisions you want to make. As far as I'm concerned, it's ready to roll on out to the web. And yes, you can post this material if you want. Let me know if you have any other questions, okay. Otherwise, I'm going to sign off. But I did want to say how much I've enjoyed reading your piece and participating in this process. It took us a while to set it up, but I hope you've found it useful." 

Joel says, "maybe I could have a contest, then, and ask people to see if they could count how many different levels of metacognitive thought goes on between the article, the log, my teaching, etc." 

Joel laughs. 

Joel says, "great. Thanks so much, Lee. You've been a great help thoughout this process." 

LeeH says, "Perhaps :) -- (I can't remember how to write actions -- my MOOing skills are rusty." 

Joel smiles. 

Joel says, "type a colon and then the action. :hi5s you" 

Joel hi5s you 

LeeH uses rustoleum and carries out action comment 

Joel laughs. 

LeeH says, "See you later." 

Joel says, "thanks again pal. I'll let you know when more (final) revisions are up. Thanks for everything" 

Joel wave 

Dumb idea.