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Author: JoyR

Gaming Design Thinking: Wicked Problems, Sufficient Solutions, and the Possibility Space of Games

Citation

Cooke, L., Robinson, J. and Dusenberry, L. (Under review). Gaming Design Thinking: Wicked Problems, Sufficient Solutions, and the Possibility Space of Games, Technical Communication Quarterly. Manuscript accepted – in the 2nd round of revisions.

AbstractA

The multiple conceptualizations of design thinking make it difficult to implement and teach in TPC, especially given classroom constraints. We propose a framework (mindset and process) that balances knowing with the thinking/doing of design thinking. This framework is effectively implemented through game design. We demonstrate that game design increases students’ ability to iterate and solve macro- and micro-level problems along with their ability to approach unfamiliar or ill-structured tasks while facing such wicked problems.

Supplementary Materials

  • Unavailable


Caring for the Future: Initiatives for Further Inclusion in Computers and Writing

DINNER KEYNOTE Computers and Writing 2017 hosted by The University of Findlay in Findlay, OH. Techne: Creating Spaces of Wonder June 1- 4:
http://candwcon.org/2017/

Citation

Butler, J., Cirio, J., Del Hierro, V., Gonzales, L., Robinson, J., and Haas, A. (2017). Caring for the Future: Initiatives for Further Inclusion in Computers and Writing. Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy, 22(1).

Abstract

The purpose of this keynote was to draw special attention to potential strategies and initiatives that C&W can continue to implement in order to further support representation and inclusion in computers and writing scholarship. Six previous recipients of the Gail E. Hawisher and Cynthia L. Selfe Caring for the Future Award will gather together in this roundtable to acknowledge the ways that the field of Computers & Writing has supported and can continue to support diverse approaches and contributions to scholarship in the field. We begin by discussing how our experiences and presentations at the C&W conference have informed our progress, including through networking, publications, research interests/ideas, and other avenues within and beyond C&W networks. We will then invite a conversation to brainstorm new ideas and foster energy and support in continuing to build inclusive practices in the C&W community.

Proceedings

Six previous recipients of the Gail E. Hawisher and Cynthia L. Selfe Caring for the Future Award will gather together in this Town Hall to acknowledge the ways that the field of Computers & Writing has supported and can continue to support diverse approaches and contributions to scholarship in the field. We will begin by discussing how our experiences and presentations at the C&W conference have informed our progress, including through networking, publications, research interests/ideas, and other avenues within and beyond C&W networks.

The purpose of this Town Hall will be to draw special attention to potential strategies and initiatives that C&W can continue to implement in order to further support representation and inclusion in computers and writing scholarship. Based on our experiences as former Caring for the Future Award winners who have returned to the conference in subsequent years, we six will discuss the impact of initiatives such as the Hawisher & Selfe award, the C&W Race caucus, and other efforts to increase diversity and representation in the C&W community. We will examine the efforts that C&W has made to be inclusive and to provide mentoring for graduate students and emerging scholars, and we will encourage conference attendees to contribute to these and other initiatives.

Specifically, each speaker’s presentation was organized around a series of guiding questions:

  • What has been the impact of these initiatives in our involvement and engagement with the conference and with the field of Computers and Writing more broadly?
  • How has the ‘work’ of these initiatives sustained beyond our receiving the award?
  • What impact have these initiatives had on our research?
  • How can Computers & Writing continue to open a dialogue about “promoting and sustaining an inclusive, diverse, and equitable environment” (http://hawisherselfe.org/about.html)?

In response to this year’s theme of wondering (potential, curiosity, and reflection) and wonder (awe, interest, and marvel), we will interrogate how those of us in the field of computers and writing can capitalize on the potential of learning through diverse perspectives. Given that efforts of diversity and inclusion are ongoing, we hope to use this presentation to create a reflective space that helps push current efforts forward to continue to imagine futures for C&W. Drawing from our experiences we hope to express a “loving critique forward” (Alim & Paris 2014) that will continue to shape C&W’s community as well as ask what we are interested in sustaining.

Throughout the roundtable discussion, the six speakers hope to unpack the ways in which current and new initiatives can increase rigor and representation at C&W and within the field of writing studies more broadly in the progress towards caring for the future. Attendees at this Town Hall will help develop and shape a list of objectives, reflections, and future plans for helping C&W continue to mentor and support diversity and inclusion. This list and the conversations stemming from this round table will be shared with other conference participants and organizers to continue embedding efforts toward inclusivity within this already supportive space.  

Work Cited

Paris, Django, and H. Samy Alim. “What are we seeking to sustain through culturally sustaining pedagogy? A loving critique forward.” Harvard Educational Review 84.1 (2014): 85-100.

Supplementary Materials


Don’t be an A$$: Examining Rude Language Behaviors in Games

Citation

Robinson, J. & Lawrence, H. (2018). Don’t be an A$$: Examining Rude Language Behaviors in Games, Communication Design Quarterly. Pending revise and resumbit.

Abstract

In this study, we examine, quantify, and contextualize rude speech used in games during
gameplay. We identify taboo utterances and use rating categories in an attempt to identify
“toxic” behavior in online games. Our study applied a quantitative content analysis to an existing corpus of gaming communications texts (forums, emails, chat, and voice) collected during a 6- week study. We define face-threatening texts as “toxic” and found that over half of the identified utterances with curse words were toxic. We conclude that face-threatening utterances contribute to the perceived negativity of gaming environments. We propose that further study investigate texts for implicit toxic language and examine the “tabooness” of certain words at use in-game conversations.

Supplementary Materials

Invited Keynote C&W (upcoming summer 2019)

Researching Collaboratively: Teachers, Teams, and Technology

Computers and Writing Conference 2019
Theme: Mission Critical: Centering Ethical Challenges in Computers and Writing
June 20-22, 2019
East Lansing, MI

At an early age, we are encouraged to collaborate; we share wooden blocks, exchange colored crayons, and learn how to play together. But, by the time we reach college, our collaborations are fraught with difficulty and struggle. In industry, research, and sometimes in teaching, workers are required to operate in groups to complete large tasks or tackle wicked problems—complex, situated, ill-defined issues with an indeterminate scope. Some of our most significant human accomplishments (for example, DNA mapping and the internet) would not be possible without interdisciplinary teams of engineers, architects, humanists, doctors, scientists, and others. This talk focuses on collaboration in our digital age including how we as academics talk about, demonstrate, and teach collaboration in our classrooms; what we as researchers might need to know and understand about the digital tools that shape and inform our writing; and what industry could learn about teaming and how to foster and nurture teams. I call for more collaboration across the aisle, so to say, in the academy and beyond, removing the silos that have shaped our field’s history and restricted our scholarship. As a field of intersections among Technical Communication, Business Communication, Rhetoric and Composition, Communication, and English, we need 21st-century ways to work, share, and foster agency both as consumers and designers of, and for, the digital tools of today. By “standing on the shoulders of giants,” we can do and say more, but to reach further, we need to share and collaborate.

Joy Robinson is an Assistant Professor in Technical Communication and New Media at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Dr. Robinson runs the eValuation and User experience (VUE) lab; a dedicated space for user experience (UX) and social science research. The lab specializes in biometric research and evaluation through specialized equipment such as eye tracking glasses and heart rate wristband monitors used to explore human autonomic responses to design/interfaces/stimulus. Her work has been published in Technical Communication Quarterly, the Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, Communication Design Quarterly, and IEEE Professional Communication. Her forthcoming multi-authored article in Computers and Composition titled “State of the Field: Teaching with Digital Tools in the Writing and Communication Classroom” explores how teachers use and employ technology throughout their various teaching tasks. Her research and teaching interests explore technical, social, and theoretical interventions for situated human systems such as users, teams, and groups who are working/playing/studying in various contexts. Her wide-ranging interests arise from 20 years of varied work opportunities as a biomedical engineer, metallurgical engineer, technical consultant, and digital media specialist. Now as an assistant professor in English, she looks for new collaborators frequently and finds them in all walks of life.

Multimodal Writing in the 21st Century: Digital Affordances in Teaching and Learning

We now have teachers of writing and communication who have always lived in a digital world: had access to the Internet, had email, and have grown up with social media. For these teachers (and the rest of us as well), digital resources have become ubiquitous. As teachers, we are participants in this digital evolution and are acutely aware that many digital resources are beneficial both to teaching and to society at large. Writing and communication scholarship offers several interrelated theoretical discussions about teaching with digital resources, often as a subset of or interlinked with discussions about multiliteracies, multimodality, and multimedia. Regardless of how we perceive digital technology, with limitless possibilities or as a slippery slope toward a dystopic future, digital technology is here to stay, and our pedagogies must reflect this reality. As teachers, we need to leverage technology in ways that help students think critically about their own technological choices. This talk will discuss ways to ensure that students become agents of their digital futures as well as consider how digital tools can be used for learning, teaching, and researching in the 21 century.


April 18-19, 2019 – Invited Talk – Iowa State in Ames, IA


Mapping the Route: How Academic and Programmatic Research Informed New UX Programs Presenters

Citation

Robinson, J., Weber, R., and Lanius, L. (2017). Mapping the Route: How Academic and Programmatic Research Informed New UX Programs Presenters. Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (CPTSC), 2017 Conference Proceedings. Savannah, GA.

Proceedings

This panel discusses how academic and questionnaire data informs the creation of a new Graduate Certificate and BA in User Experience. Joy Robinson begins with the results of a study that explores the multiple disciplinary identities of user experience research. Ryan Weber will address the survey results of potential student interest in UX curriculum. Candice Lanius will talk about how the data from students and researchers informs the curriculum development for programs. This panel advocates that administrators use both scholarly and programmatic research to understand student and disciplinary identities and then create curriculum that helps students prepare to meet industry demands. Using multiple data sources is especially important when developing interdisciplinary programs (like UX) that must attract a wide variety of students and meet the demands of several industries.

Joy Robinson will discuss data from a systematic review of publications retrieved from Google Scholar written within the last 17 years that referenced “user experience” research (Robinson, Lanius, Weber, 2017). For the study, we focused on the disciplinary identity of the field by examining areas that define fields (Rude, 2009) including research questions, methods, and objects of study. Our corpus included publications that spanned across more than 44 different disciplines and in 36 countries highlighting the fragmentation present in the UX field. Furthermore, our study confirms that UX research employs a broad array of methods, pointing to a splintered, highly practical, non-academic focus in the field. These findings will help UX as a field more accurately and broadly conceive of its identity and provide the academy with focused educational objectives for use in our programs as we seek to meet the needs of the growing practice of UX.

Ryan Weber will present data from locally distributed questionnaires designed to gauge interest in two new UX programs. The questionnaires collected demographic data and asked participants about courses they want to take, skills they hope to develop, and what might interest them in a UX education. After presenting the data itself, the speaker will put these questionnaire results in conversation with our academic research on the UX field to provide a richer understanding of the curricular needs of our students. The presentation offers attendees specific data on potential UX students alongside a theoretical discussion of the relationship between programmatic and academic data.

Candice Lanius will show how we create a bridge between existing professional practices and the desires of students even with the challenges of creating a new curriculum in an established college. By taking the data from the UX research project and questionnaire, we were able to mold a new curriculum that incorporates existing classes and crosses multiple departments to achieve the vision of an interdisciplinary UX program. Broadly speaking, our early data collection allowed us to add content modules to existing courses to share the costs of starting the program. We were also able to integrate our research goals with the creative aspects of the curriculum in a well-designed UX lab—the eValuation and User Experience (VUE) lab—that will prepare students for either research or professional settings (Spencer, 2015).

Works Cited:

Robinson, J., Lanius, C., Weber, R. (2017). The Past, Present, and Future of UX Empirical Research. Communication Design Quarterly, 5(3), 10-23.

Rude, C. D. (2009). Mapping the Research Questions in Technical Communication. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 23(2), 174–215. http://doi.org/10.1177/1050651908329562

Spencer, C. (2015). Building your first UX lab: Lessons learnt. Retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/CraigSpencer4/building-your-first-ux-lab-presented-at-gds

User Experience Methods in Research and Practice

Citation

Robinson, J., Lanius, C., and Weber, R. (Forthcoming). User Experience Methods in Research and Practice, Manuscript proposal accepted to JTWC special edition 2020.

Abstract

User experience (UX) researchers in technical communication and beyond still need a clear picture of the methods used to measure and evaluate UX. This article charts current UX methods through a systematic literature review of recent publications (2016-2018) and a survey of 52 UX practitioners in academia and industry. Our results indicate that contemporary UX research favors mixed methods and that usability testing is especially popular in both published research and our survey results. Other methods, such as surveys and ethnography, get widely used in published research but prompt varied reactions from survey respondents. This article presents these findings as a snapshot of contemporary research methods for user experience.

Supplementary Materials

Useful Usability in an Introductory Technical Communication Course: An Extended Case Study

Citation

Robinson, J. (Forthcoming) Useful Usability in an Introductory Technical Communication Course: An Extended Case Study. 1st Annual Louisiana Tech Usability Studies Symposium (LaTUSS 2019) Yearbook Edited Collection.

Abstract

User experience (UX) courses are increasingly housed in Technical and Professional Communication (TPC) programs due to the field’s dual rhetorical premise of shaping and evaluating products for the audience (Redish & Barnum, 2011). Our basic TPC service courses support a wide variety of majors making it a logical choice to include UX coursework. Unfortunately, few publications provide useful and actionable information for teaching these concepts. In this chapter, I provide a 1) pedagogical framework for teaching complex user-centered design concepts and 2) practice-level overview of how usability can be included in an introductory technical communication service course.

Supplementary Materials

A Geographic and Disciplinary Examination of UX Empirical Research Since 2000

Citation

Robinson, J. & Lanius, C. (2018). A Geographic and Disciplinary Examination of UX Empirical Research Since 2000, ACM International Conference on the Design of Communication (SIGDOC ’18), 2018 ACM International, 1-8, https://doi.org/10.1145/3233756.3233930

Abstract

Defining the boundaries of a discipline is important work for helping others discover new avenues of research. In this research report, we share two new dimensions from an analysis of over 400 empirical user experience studies published between 2000 and 2016. The find-
ings of this comprehensive examination reveal patterns within the researcher’s methodological choices and artifacts of study across different countries and disciplines. Our research questions were: 1) Does the researcher’s region (continent) affect the method(s) or artifacts(s) studied? And 2) Does the researcher’s disciplinary identity impact their choice of method and sample size? This research reveals future avenues for examination and helps UX researchers consider new opportunities on the horizon.

Supplementary Materials

published version

Look Before You Lead: Seeing Virtual Teams Through the Lens of Games

Citation

Robinson, J. (2016). Look Before You Lead: Seeing Virtual Teams Through the Lens of Games, Technical Communication Quarterly Special Issue, 25(3), 178-190. 10.1080/10572252.2016.118515.

Abstract

This study investigated virtual teams playing World of Warcraft to better understand how traditional leadership theories applied to virtual worlds and to identify the most valuable leadership traits. Raid members completed surveys that assessed their leadership capability under the competing values framework. In keeping with previous scholarship, the findings indicate that successful virtual teams value roles from task-based leadership and a factor analysis revealed that the behavioral complexity leadership theory operates differently in virtual environments.

Supplementary Materials