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This paper discusses the visual organizers and graphic interfaces used to manage and report the findings from a 10-month ethnographic study of student participation and interaction in computer mediated communication (CMC) activities within the classrooms of both a freshman writing class and a plant science lab. The study focuses on social psychological issues, expressed in discourse created from computer-based interactions, from student survey self-reports, or from the observation and reporting process. It is contended that data analysis is problematic, since generation of data is affected by what the ethnographer can treat as writable, readable, visible, and interpretable, and analysis requires various visual organizers and graphic descriptions, the following of which are used in this study: research questions; tables; quantitative coding of raw data; charts/tables; hypercard stacks; figures; digital photographs; and excerpts from computer-based discussions. Graphical interfaces for the following components of the study are discussed: interviews/field observation; surveys; videotape material; and electronic discussions. Discussion concentrates on graphical interfaces for electronic discussions, and includes issues such as coding data according to content description and affective quality, quantitative measure of network connections, and message act analysis. Data is illustrated in 6 figures. (Contains nine references.) (MAS)

Descriptors: College Students, Computer Graphics, Computer Interfaces, Computer Mediated Communication, Computer Networks, Content Analysis, Data Analysis, Ethnography, Graphic Organizers, Higher Education, Student Participation, Surveys, Visual Arts

Autor: Ruberg, Laurie F.; Moore, D. Mike


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