“‘Why Won’t Moodle…?’: Using Genre Studies to Understand Students’ Approaches to Interacting with User-Interfaces”

Witte, Alison (2018) “‘Why Won’t Moodle…?’: Using Genre Studies to Understand Students’ Approaches to Interacting with User-Interfaces”. Computers and Composition.

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Official URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S...


This article reports results from a six-semester exploratory study that used genre theory, specifically the ideas that genres have particular formal characteristics tied to their uses in particular situations, to investigate how students understand and use my university’s CMS. The study sought to answer questions about why students struggle to navigate and utilize the CMS, and to investigate how students’ experiences with and knowledge of other digital interfaces shaped their interactions with the CMS interface. The guiding assumption was that people learn unfamiliar genres by determining how they are like and unlike genres they know and by observing how the unfamiliar genre is used in context (Bawarshi, 2003; Devitt, 2004; Miller, 1984). Students in FYC were surveyed about the interfaces they use regularly and the devices they use to access the interfaces. What emerged is that students do develop expectations for how a CMS interface should function, based on their experience with and use of both the CMS other interfaces. Because our CMS interface blurs borders between various types of interfaces and because faculty use the interface in varying ways, students struggle to determine the purpose/function of the CMS and how to use it appropriately. Based on these results, this article argues that instructors need to (1) account for students previous experiences when designing a course CMS and (2) present the CMS interface to students as a genre and provide opportunities and motivation for students to engage with and learn about the CMS as a genre.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Course design, Course Management Software, FYC students, Genre, Interface
Depositing User: Elizabeth Dalton
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2019 23:40
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2019 23:40
URI: http://research.moodle.org/id/eprint/367

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