Argument, Agency and Active Objects in the MOO Classroom.

Traditional argumentative propositions, evidence and authorities take on new dimensions when positioned in a MOO classroom. Descriptions, claims, and rhetorical devices, when translated to an object-oriented environment, tend to become non-linear and self-evidently reflexive for composition students. When assigned to create agent

Agency, as both action and the personification of action, can be creatively reconceptualized in a text-based virtual reality system. When students are asked to _act_ in the MOO, whether by engaging a set of problems designed for them by the instructor, or by constructing actively representational/symbolic/iconic agents, the limits of traditional notions of agency become clear.The "one who does the actual work" becomes both the creator and the created. In combination with the grammatical/rhetorical programming of verb-strings, slide projectors, and various other "active" objects, students engage each other, the instructor, and other programmed agents in the MOO to develop and extend a written logos that challenges existing structures of agency. The logics and poetics enabled by such a classroom allow students to make merry with cherished notions of the role of assigned agency, gathering and deploying rhetorical power through objects coded to their own argumentative needs.

Presenter: John F Ronan


Target Audience: Intermediate

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