Title

Finding Impressionist moments in a digital classroom: Writing about van Gogh in an avatar-based environment

Date of Completion

January 2007

Keywords

Education, Art|Education, Educational Psychology|Language, Rhetoric and Composition|Education, Technology of

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

This study employed a modified experimental design to investigate how exposure to an avatar-based environment impacts a student's composition of an essay in response to a writing prompt. Drawing on selected developments in situated cognition, ecological psychology, discourse analysis and the literature of writing instruction and assessment, this study used statistical tools to provide evidence supporting a bi-directional hypothesis: Students exposed to an avatar-based environment wrote reflective essays in first person discourse, while students exposed to a comparable web page-based environment wrote persuasive essays in third person discourse.^