Welcome to



What are computer audiences? 

"I'd define computer audiences as anyone from the "computer geek" category to the kindergartners I tutor" 

"computer for all?" 

"New computer culture..." 

MU* a solution to teaching problems? 
"What is the difference between MUSHes and MOOs"  
The fear factor and
initial experience
"What's the purpose of changing the environment?"  

"The students claimed that they understood the characters' motivations better..." 
 They enjoyed getting past 'plot' and moving into a different arena." 

"but these assignments also make students engage directly with the text to find answers and solve questions" 
"But the key here is that the instructor -must- know the goals of the assignment and what is it's relationship to the overall course goals."  
Setting up such a space for a classroom 


Kairos Meet the Authors Series


Part 2 of the mini-series with the authors of   "Collaborative Spaces and Education"    
With guest author of the evening Joi Lynne Chevalier  

Hosted by Jennifer L. Bowie, Kairos Response Editor  


The following is the log of the session.  


A large room with distant light walls and lots of hazy, but too bright, light. There are several large pillows on the floor, and in the front of the room there is a small platform stage with a group of comfortable chairs. Type 'up' to step up on the platform stage.  

Jennifer shows slide #1. 

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Welcome to this session of KMTA  _K_airos _M_eet _T_he _A_uthors MOO Series! 

The Meet the Authors Series is a Lingua MOO forum in which the Authors of Kairos webtexts lead discussions about the issues raised in the texts  as published. MOO Logs for these texts will be edited for publication and reaction in forthcoming issues of the journal. 

  Joi Lynne Chevalier, one author of:  "Collaborative Spaces and Education"  

This is the second part of this two part KMTA. This first was with Daniel Anderson 
the other author and the log can be found at: 

Hosted by Jennifer Bowie. If you have any questions on how to MOO contact Jennifer (type 'page Jennifer your question or concerns') or type 'help introduction' 

Thank you for joining us. 
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Joi blinks, "Wow." She chuckles. 

Msidler quietly enters. 
Joi laughs, "The prepared slide." ;) "Hello everyone." 

Jennifer says, "welcome Msidler" 

Msidler says, "hi, everyone.  I went back to the courtyard to pick up straggles" 

edward quietly enters. 
hank quietly enters. 
John quietly enters. 

Msidler says, "yes, and we're all newbies at this MOO thing. " 
Msidler says, "well most of us..." 

Jennifer says, "If anyone needs help feel free to ask me, or probably joi :)" 

Joi smiles. "Sure, please do. If you're reading the site now and have any questions first off, I'm happy to explain the site itself and rationale." 

Jennifer shows slide #2. 

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This discussion will be logged and archived. 

  ***Please state your name and your affiliation***.  
To continue this and other discussions of Kairos pieces, please consider joining 
our email discussion list, KMTA. To join you can send mail to  
<Majordomo@utdallas.edu> with the following command in the body of your email  

   subscribe kmta 

This discussion will be logged and archived. 
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edward says, "waves back" 

John says, "hello everybody" 

edward says, "Ed Gallagher, Lehigh U" 

Jennifer is Jennifer Bowie response Editor for _Kairos_ 

Msidler says, "hi.  I'm next week's author, but my first name wouldn't go..." 

John says, "John also from Lehigh U" 

Jennifer shows slide #3. 

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Quote of the week:  

"Not unlike the changes that happened in early print cultures,  the new computer culture asks many of the same questions but for an audience never  before imagined, and also question the micro-dynamics of local arenas as well". "  
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Jennifer says, "welcome  Lehigh U ers" 
Jennifer says, "just out of curiosity how did y'all here about this?" 
Jennifer shows slide #4. 

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Some Questions of the week:  

Does emersion in internet based enrichment (MUSHes, on line class  discussions,  and web-based research) give the students not only more depth to  their  studies but also force them out of their fourth point (distant) position, causing a vested interest in the linear book? Does students responsibly  change from not only for what they read, but what and how they write?  

Is the integration of students into completely foreign time  periods through vehicles such as MUSH an effective method of teaching literature, history, or other areas of education? Did the role-playing situations force the students to learn the texts more thoroughly or differently?  

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Msidler says, "Jennifer, how would you (or could you) describe the audience mentioned in this quote (computer audiences)" 

edward says, "I saw the notice on an e-mail list" 

Jennifer [to Joi]: you want to answer Msilder's question? 

Joi says, "I'm currently parsing the quotes again to find that line, Msidler..." 

Msidler says, "the new computer" 

Jennifer [to Msidler]: I'd define computer audiences as anyone from the "computer geek" category to the kindergartners I tutor 

Joi says, "You mean the Quote of the Week? Not the questions, yes?" 

Msidler says, "yes the quote of the week.  Let me try to post the passage." 

Jennifer says, "I'll do it" 
Jennifer shows slide #3. 

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Quote of the week:  

"Not unlike the changes that happened in early print cultures,  the new computer culture asks many of the same questions but for an audience never  before imagined, and also question the micro-dynamics of local arenas as well". "  

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Msidler says, "an audience never before imagined..." 

mday quietly enters. 
mday arrives. 
mday waves 

edward says, "Are saying that print culture was only for a part of the population but that the computer is for all?" 

Joi says, "Hold on a moment, I am working on replies to the queries. :)" 

Msidler says, "certainly, it seems to imply a larger audience, but I'm not sure what type." 

edward says, "An audience not used to reading?  Not used to writing?" 

Daniel quietly enters. 
Daniel arrives. 

Msidler says, "i'm not sure.  maybe a more immediate audience?" 

Daniel finds a seat in Kairos. 

Joi nods, "New Computer Culture... I don't mind Jennifer's definition at all. Actually, it is quite interesting. Certainly the 'computer culture' is not simply those who have been born past the age where computers are tools that are readily available and expectant parts of living. But also those who develop the tool itself must be a part of that." 

Jennifer says, "everyone who reads the programs ignore them, they have not been recycled yet" 
Jennifer is no longer sure of anything 

edward says, "Is there a not-sure-of-anything room for Jennifer?" 

Joi says, "I wouldn't imply that a 'computer culture' are those who are not used to reading or writing. I mean simply those who are familiar with that 'tool' or form (and I'm thinking of the Greek word techne) as a part of regular existence and have formed some record of association with it, certainly perhaps even developing artifacts that are derived from that tool." 

Msidler says, "those who develop the tool-- programmers?" 

Jennifer looking around, "This is it, this is my room" 

Joi nods, "From end user to programmer. They would all be parts of that 'culture' surrounding the tool." 
Jennifer [to Joi]: could you tell us about some of your experiences with MUSHes and the classroom 

Msidler says, "i have a really idiotic question, too, but it shows my lack of knowledge " 

Jennifer says, "go ahead" 

Joi nods, "Sure. Specifically with mu*s and classrooms--they in part grew out of personal interests of mine, certainly, but the idea came from several problems I was encountering; 1. The long lectures to give an appropriate cultural and social setting to discuss what I do in my literature courses, which is about the development of text and texts as cultural artifacts,  2. The need to convince students that the texts and the information I was conveying did have some relationship to their modern existences, and 3. And the need to have some continual reminders of the things I was talking about, without having to repeat lectures." 

Msidler says, "What is the difference between MUSHes and MOOs" 

Jennifer admits she's never used a MUSH, no shared hallucinations (yet) for her 

Joi says, "The difference is in the hardcoded core package that you get that provides the programming and user commands. A mush--Multi-User Shared Hallucination has  global commands that allow changes to the environment and for the user to use. A MOO-A Multi Object-Oriented (dimension) provides that changeability through commands set on the objects themselves." 

Joi says, "In an o-o system, objects are created from type parents, who have certain abilities or attributes." 

Jennifer raises an eyebrow "humm" 

Msidler says, "so, MUSHes have more user flexibility or influence?  is that the gist?" 

Jennifer says, "how has using MUSHes effected your students?" 

Joi smiles, "So the difference between the two is about code... MOO's provide more complex code that offers interconnectivity with the Internet in a variety of ways that mushes perhaps do not. WWW Interfacing -within- the moo, email use within the moo that can be sent out, possible portals that can be opened between moos... MOO offers that over mush code." 

Joi says, "How did it affect my students. In a few ways:" 

Joi says, "Certainly the fear factor was there which needed to be overcome. Few, few are experienced in any shared dimensional space and first to explain to them what it was, was significant. After that comes the initial entrance--they are amazed at the text, the scroll, the difficulty of such dynamic conversation. I'm sure any cognitive scientist would have a field day." 

Jennifer nods, remembering her first MOO experience which was in a class" 

John says, "could you give a specific assignment, I'm a little confused...." 

Joi says, "Once they got that out of their system, only then would I begin assigning tasks... their question is always, "What's this got to do with anything?" When they ask that, then we return to the issues brought up about text creations, production, transmission and even the definition of 'text."" 

Joi nods, "Sure, there are assignments on the site, but I will give an example of a more advanced one here. After reading Henry V, the students were having difficulty seeing the distinctions between the varying factions in the play." 

hank says, "What's the purpose of changing the environment" 

Jennifer says, "Many think its easier to study text in a text environment because you are in the same mind set. There is also the role-playing aspect you might not get in a class just discussing the book, and so much more..." 

John says, "thanks but specifically how was it used, did students take on different roles and played them out, specifics for me would be great...." 

Jennifer [to hank]: also online "immediate" communication, such as MOOs and MUSHes, allow people with difficulties, speech, shyness and the likes more "equality" in communicating 

Joi says, "They were already using the mush for smaller items, and so the assignment regarding Henry V was to once more read the text, students would role-play particular individuals from the play--Henry V, Katherine, Fluellen, Williams, Montjoy..and then were asked to 'represent' that character's view. They still had their texts, but when they were posed the -same- questions they were asking me...it became up to the student-players to find answers that the character would have... based on the character's lines in the text." 

Joi says, "Sorry, it takes a bit to type out a complete answer for you...." 

John says, "thanks, sounds interesting" 

Jennifer nods understanding at Joi 

Joi says, "In that assignment, the student-interviewers would ask, "Henry, why did you dislike Mortimer?"" 

Jennifer says, "how much did this help their understanding, where their "take-ways" much greater than before?" 

Joi says, "'Mortimer' would immediately pipe up with an answer, directly from the text. 'Henry' would controvert that, or another 'character' would put their two cents in, based on the text." 

Jennifer says, "sounds like fun to me" 

Joi nods, "That particular assignment went very well. The students claimed that they understood the characters' motivations better... when they had to extemporize what the character would say... based on a clear understanding of the character from the text." 

Jennifer says, "did you do this together as a class in the same computer lab or with was the class in different places?" 

hank says, "How would this be different then a Daedalus role-playing exercise?" 

Joi says, "They asked for more assignments of the same. They enjoyed getting past 'plot' and moving into a different arena." 

Joi says, "This was during my Tuesday-Thursday course.12-30-2, in our networked classroom..." 

Jennifer says, "Its like a combination of role-playing games, or acting, and literature all set in the appropriate (albeit textual) setting" 

Jennifer says, "was there much face to face conversation during this time?" 

Joi says, "How would it be different than Daedalus.... well, Daedalus does not allow for persistent maintenance of textual information. Literally, they walked from a tavern, to the Fields of Agincourt that I had described...." 

Joi says, "They passed forests, homes, and a castle... then came to the battlefield. Then, they partitioned into camps that were created for each faction and they talked." 

Joi says, "Only then, did they come from their camps and talk to the student-audience." 

John says, "so this is sort of a dungeons and dragons but for school use?" 

Msidler says, "I would have loved to do this as an undergrad.  but then, I was into" 

Joi says, "No, not really. D&D is an rpg. We used the code available for -any- virtual environment and then I described the place." 

Jennifer says, "it appears to me that the differences are the students are given character to represent" 

Msidler says, "that kind of thing" 

Joi says, "In fact, its' code similar to this place. I created recording devices, other objects to use to do our work. Going to Medieval England in Academick was not that different than how you came here...:)" 
Msidler says, "but these assignments also make students engage directly with the text to find answers and solve questions" 

Joi says, "There are specific tasks to be accomplished in the space... just like here. The space is used to facilitate the maintenance of persistent information... so I do not have to create contexts with each class period." 

Jennifer nods to Joi and then smiles 

Joi nods, "Exactly. All of the assignments required a relationship between the mu*space and whatever text we were working with that week. In the class I'm discussing, it was a sophomore British Literature Survey. 

Joi says, "This was done with Henry IV, Henry V, Paradise Lost." 

Joi says, "But the key here is that the instructor -must- know the goals of the assignment and what is it's relationship to the overall course goals." 

Joi says, "In this case, when we finished with the mu* and talked face to face or in mini-interchanges ( I did still use Daedalus), we not only discussed the character relationships, but immediately moved into areas about culture, about texts as repositories of cultural and social information...." 

Jennifer [to Joi]: do the students get off subject very much? 

Joi says, "And then what happens if those texts are unstable... fluctuate.... or appear in a variety of versions (say like the 4 quartos of Hamlet)." 

hank says, "How is this "maintenance of persistent information" accomplished? from memory or re-reading the description of the environment before the assignment begins?" 

Rowan quietly enters. 
Rowan arrives. 
Rowan finds a seat in Kairos. 

John says, "how much time in preparing does an assignment like you have just mentioned take?" 

Joi nods at Hank, "Did you look at the description of this room?" ;) "This information will not leave when you do. I can go to Medieval England right now and see the castles, the tavern, the forests, the objects that the students created... they still go back to England of 1590, with each assignment." 

Msidler says, "unfortunately, I have to go to another meeting.  Nice to meet all of you." 

Joi says, "I don't have to stop and explain the time frame... it was done once in lecture... and in the place they visited. Rarely did the context we were using need re-explanation."" 

Joi nods, "It was nice too. Have a good evening." :) 

Jennifer [to mslider]: thanx for joining 

Msidler tiptoes out. 
Msidler goes home. 

Joi says, "How much time....John asked....well..." 

Joi says, "Actually not that long. The most time, of course, is taken in defining a universe, a space, that can be used efficiently. In this instance, this was a 13th century town that had a tavern, an abbey, plenty of forests, several castles... and then the battlefield." 

Joi says, "The assignment itself only took about an hour to consider: what are my goals, what do I need for them to take away, how do I use my space, how can they use the space, what are my time constraints, which text is being done (in case I need to make modifications to the environment)." 

Joi says, "First setup of the environment and assignments is where the investment is. After... modifying the assignment to the text wasn't too hard. Perhaps 30 minutes..." 

Joi says, "Paradise Lost was interesting... it was the only assignment where I actually used an outside person to assist... and not have myself so centered in the students' questioning." 

Joi smiles, shuts up now. ;) 

Jennifer says, "are there any more burning questions?" 

Joi says, "I had four spaces in Academick, to account for most of my texts: Ancient Greece, Rome, 13th C. England, 16th C. England." 

Jennifer shows slide #10. 

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KMTA  _K_airos _M_eet _T_he _A_uthors MOO Series!  

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