This study uses eye tracking to analyze the effects of adding pictures to procedures in a software tutorial on how users interact with procedures. Eye movements were recorded from 42 participants as they worked through one of two versions of a tutorial: with or without pictures. Accuracy on tasks was higher when the procedures included pictures. Including pictures speeded up both processing the instructions and executing the actions, but did not trigger more attention switches between the procedures and the application that the users worked with. Users spontaneously adopted a strategy of immediate task execution and processed pictures before acting. Pictures facilitate efficient processing of procedures, leaving more resources for task execution.
Using cross-cultural genre analysis, this study investigates the rhetorical moves of leadership statements in university sustainability reports (LSUSR) produced by Italian and American universities. A move scheme is used to annotate the sample texts. The findings show that although the Italian and American LSUSR genres share the communicative purpose of establishing a sustainable image, the degree of discourse force exerting this communicative purpose varies. The image-building discourse force is more noticeable in the American leadership statements, which use a wider range and a larger quantity of image-improving moves. The Italian subcorpus pays more attention to report-introducing, which is not explicitly linked to image improvement. This paper suggests that practitioners could consider the potentials of the LSUSR genre in developing an institutional culture of sustainability.
Educators frequently view theory-based courses as better suited to online teaching than experiential courses. We compared multiple sections of an experiential IT Outsourcing class over several quarters in face to face and online synchronous delivery. Students in each course section responded to two surveys where they rated their knowledge of different topics at the start and end of the course. Online students reported greater increases in learning on average across all measured items. Self-reported knowledge gains were significantly greater in five items, mostly soft skills and project management knowledge. The only significantly improved technical IT skill was in using software for virtual meetings. We conclude that universities should embrace teaching experiential IT based courses virtually, as it is possible to obtain greater improvements in self-efficacy, counter to much existing research. This is especially the case as instructional technology improves.
This case addresses the affordances and constraints of creating short 360° videos for publication on public-facing platforms at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC). Scientists researching energy-related technologies were invited to record 2D video interviews. Based on these interviews, six transcripts for 360° videos were drafted and recorded in the same lab settings. When the videos were published, European researchers and communication professionals were recruited to complete a short survey evaluating the videos’ relative merits. The survey results (n = 32) suggest a similar overall quality of the 2D video interviews and 360° video tours. Based on our experience, we provide guidelines related to the production and publication of short 360° videos.
We created three online modules that help students uncover their own tacit expectations for teamwork, share and merge these expectations, and then construct a team charter and task schedules with their teammates. We used a quasi-experimental design comparing team charters from control and experimental groups to understand how our modules affected students’ charters. Analyses revealed that control group charters tended to invoke universal team norms and assign punishments for failing to uphold those norms. By contrast, experimental group charters were more flexible, acknowledged competing priorities, evidenced greater planning, and articulated processes that could accommodate individual goals, values, and constraints. Charters created after the modules showed more accommodation of difference; however, more research needs to be done to determine whether the more flexible and elaborated charters improve team behaviors.
Computer-Assisted Corpus Analysis: An Introduction to Concepts, Processes, and Decisions, S. Lang, D. Buell, and N. Elliot This tutorial guides readers though key concepts, basic processes, and common decision points that inform computer-assisted corpus-based research in technical, professional, and scientific communication (TPSC). Key concepts include corpus location, text preparation, and programming language and software selection. These key concepts can be used to establish basic process and decision points that, in turn, yield lessons related to the usefulness of lexicogrammatical language models and the significance of multidisciplinarity. Although corpus research is a growing and important part of the field of TPSC, challenges remain in terms of language model variety and ethical considerations. These challenges can be met by alignment between corpus and analytic tools, and reference to the Common Rule and related international standards.