Personal Home Pages in Academia: The Medium, its Adopters, and their Practices

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Title: Personal Home Pages in Academia: The Medium, its Adopters, and their Practices
Author: Rick, Jochen
Abstract: Personal home pages are outgrowing their playful beginnings to serve serious purposes. At the forefront of this emergence is academia, where they are becoming a meaningful way for researchers to engage each other. Yet, the medium is still in its infancy: The medium, its adopters, and their practices are unduly constrained by current technology. To better study the meaning and use of personal home pages in academia, I created the AniAniWeb personal-home-page system to loosen these constraints. AniAniWeb applies wiki technology to facilitate easy editing, to enable interaction, and to focus the user on content creation. Others began adopting AniAniWeb in fall 2003. This dissertation centers on a case study of six graduate students and their experience with AniAniWeb over a period of two years. Their practices are viewed through three analytical lenses. Media theory focuses on the technology. Communities of practice focuses on the social context. Core identity theory focuses on the individual. When combined, these frameworks lead to a rich understanding of personal home pages in academia. Based on observations and interviews, issues of design, technology, meaning, and use are addressed.
Type: Dissertation
Date: 2007-04-19
Publisher: Georgia Institute of Technology
Subject: Media theory
Core identity
Personal home pages
Communities of practice
Wikis (Computer science)
Educational Web sites
Internet in education
Department: Computing
Advisor: Committee Chair: Guzdial, Mark; Committee Member: Bers, Marina; Committee Member: Bruckman, Amy; Committee Member: Kolodner, Janet; Committee Member: Mynatt, Elizabeth
Degree: Ph.D.

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