Observations

Tuesday

I was in the A-K document. These observations were recorded there.

  • A total of 14 people edited the document
  • Only two people made use of the chat feature
  • There were 10 people signed into the chat box at the end of the editing period. This number fluctuated throughout.
  • The chat was left a total of 10 times.

Thursday

  • It was raining on Thursday. A total of 13 people wore rain jackets to class, 6 of whom kept them on during class, 7 deciding to take them off.
  • The four large screens were on(including screen saver) for a total of 1:07:33.
  • Dr. Sample was talking to the entire class for approximately 29:33. This accounts for 39% of class time
  • Students were addressing the entire class for approximately 17:20. This accounts for 23% of class time

Number of Responder Per Question

This week I looked at the number of responders per question. For Tuesday, I only was able to record the number of people I observed editing questions. The results are below:

Google Doc Class, Tuesday.
Question 1: 9
Question 2: 4
Question 3: 7
Question 4: 6
Question 5: 6
Question 6: 7
Average: 6.5

Thursday.
Question 1: 5
Question 2: 1
Question 3: 3
Question 4: 3
Question 5: 3
Question 6: 2
Question 7: 8
Question 8: 4
Question 9: 3
Question 10: 4
Question 11: 1
Average: 4.2

Question Popularity

This week I was interested in looking at which questions would be most popular in the google docs using word count as a measure of popularity. My first hypothesis was that the first questions would have the most words because they are the ones that people first see. My other hypothesis was that questions dealing with issues that occur in the earlier parts of the book would be more popular because perhaps people hadn’t read all the way to page 200.

Question Group 1 Words Group 2 Words
1 571 883
2 517 430
3 744 625
4 470 503
5 388 349
6 460 443

Dig 210 Blog Post

The table and graph show that there were similar tendencies between the groups but no clear patterns for explanation. Question 3 references page 182 yet was one of the most popular questions so my second hypothesis seems to be disproved and while there is a gradual decrease from the first question to the last one it is not significant enough to prove my first hypothesis. Thus, it could be that certain questions were just more popular and easy to answer than others.

Class Participation

Similar to Emily’s observations for this week, I tracked the classes’ participation throughout the time spent on the Google Doc and in class on Thursday.  I used a  a lot less efficient method of collecting data during the Google Doc session and every 5 minutes I counted the number of sentences in the document.  It’s only a rough estimate of the progress of the document, it would take me up to two or three minutes to count the sentences that were being added simultaneously.  On the graph, the total number of sentences is divided by 10 for scaling purposes. The second line is the approximate rate sentences were added each minute throughout the session.  There is a spike at the 65 minute mark after I added the post-question discussion.

Google Doc Participation

Throughout Thursday’s class, I kept track of the comments or questions made by Dr. Sample or a student within 5 minute time periods.

Classdiscussion416

Participation vs Time

image

I observed class participation as a function of time to see whether or not we are more active at certains times of class. I believe that someone else may have done this before. I thought it would be interesting, however, to compare the trends of our participation in class with our participation in the google doc session. Using the revision history of the google doc, I had a perfect record of the number of edits per minute. I am unsure, however, of what counts as a revision. As you can see from the graph, the number of edits of the google doc is much greater than the number of class participations. This is expected because on the google doc everyone can revise simultaneously and disjointedly instead of following the progression of class. The graph indicates that for the most part, the number of comments and edits is pretty stagnant throughout the class period. There is one major dip in the middle of the revisions history of the google doc. I assume that this is when everyone had finished major edits or paragraphs and took some time to catch up on what everyone else had written before adding to other peoples’ thoughts.

The Frequency of Characters

In my observer post, I am doing something similar to what I did in my first observer post awhile back, but I think this observer post offers some different perspectives for a number of reasons, and with the unique class on Tuesday, comparisons that can be made. I counted the frequency of times that each character in The Circle was mentioned in the GoogleDocs for L-Z on Tuesday and then kept track of the number of times anyone said a character in class, whether Dr. Sample mentioned a character or a student mentioned a character.

On Tuesday, the frequency of characters followed the questions on the GoogleDocs, with Mae brought up frequently, not only because she is the main character but also because of the first question of her being a “stand-in.” Also, Alistair is remarked on because of his connection to Mae as she adjusts to the Circle and also because of the question on the “totally optional” activities.

On Thursday, Mae is once again featured prominently in our discussions but also since we read the section on Mae’s superficial action on the activities in Guatemala, Ana Maria and Tania were read aloud. Mercer was a part of our discussion as we talked about his perceptions versus Mae’s as well.

Overall, I think looking at names instead of topics as opposed to my last post allows us to examine the difference between discussing multiple articles and a novel. Discussing a novel definitely feels more personal and we can utilize examples that are, in some ways, more relatable. Tuesday’s class was online and was solely devoted to answering the questions, so the frequency of names of characters brought up focused on the questions while Thursday we were present in Studio D to discuss a variety of topics and characters.

Frequency of Names Brought Up on Tuesday

Mae 30
Alistair 7
Annie 3
Ty 1
Dan 1
Renata 1
Gina 1
Francis 1

 

Frequency of Names Brought Up on Thursday

Mae 32
Alistair 1
Tania 5
Ana Maria 9
Mercer 13
Eamon Bailey 3
Kalden 3

 

Staying Anonymous Means More Creativity

This past Tuesday’s class we did a collaborative essay on “the Circle”, a book that we had been reading for the last week of class. It was the first time that I had been introduced to something of this nature. It was an interesting to watch the interactions that went on. For example, have the class stayed anonymous when they logged in to Google Docs, whole the other half had their names visible for everyone. I noticed for the most part that the people that stayed anonymous on the essay were more inclined to write more and throw out more thoughts than the people that were logged in. I think this is because they felt that since they were anonymous and nobody knew who was contributing what information, they were more likely to put out more creative thoughts. This was interesting to look at because it kind of dealt with the TruYou aspect of the book, in that in the book your anonymity was taken away when you went to a website and it caused things to be more civil and in a way less creative. Thinking back on the task of the collaborative essay, I wonder how it would be different, or if it would’ve been different if everyone had been told to stay anonymous as opposed to logging in, and vice versa. In my opinion based on my observations, I believe that everyone staying anonymous would have led to more free flowing ideas than there already were because people would not have been worried about the opinions of their peers.

A Circle of Anonymous Ferrets

Anonymouse Hippo

Our class’ recent collaborative effort to answer the essay prompt posed some new interesting angles on Dave Eggers’ The Circle. We have recently discussed how the fictional events of the novel reveal some eerily familiar truths about the future path of society. Some readers take Eggers’ novel as playful satire while others cringe at its potentially prophetic nature. With the new construction plans for the Google headquarters in California, the events, products, interactions, and overall concept of The Circle suddenly don’t seem as farfetched. In a more local sense, the collaborative essay revealed a lot about online identities and anonymity, both prevalent concepts from the Circle.

It was interesting to note how many classmates used anonymous profiles to answer the questions. This was likely for a number of reasons. The first being that they did not want the pressure of posting an inadequate response or grammatical error and having it tied to their name. As a signed-in user, with their name on the profile, other users could see the user’s exact typing as it occurred. This put signed-in users in a more vulnerable state than the rest of the responders.

For other anonymous users, “Anonymous Ferret” was just a façade that could be hidden behind either actively or passively. Anonymity allowed for responders to say anything they wanted without consequence, or they could remain idle without anyone knowing their lack of participation. I wasn’t an observer this week, but I did notice that there were zero idle profiles where students were logged in using their actual names. On the other hand, there were numerous users in each document whose cursor remained in the same location for the entirety of the class. This trend is similar to that of modern-day internet with “Catfishing” and trolling. Ironically enough, our class engages in the same behavior we frown upon and blog about.

The Essay as transition, and our ability to feel emotions

The combined essay was anew experience for me, for I had never utilized google docs with that many people logged in at the same time. It was an interesting experience seeing people correct grammar and other mistakes made by students. One of the things that stuck out to me was the final product. We began with a document that had questions and instructions, and ended with one that had multiple paragraphs for a single question. I viewed this transition as being similar to our society’s development in technology. We began with instructions telling us to do something (e.g. create a social media site, make friends more accessible) and a blank page. From there our society took many different inputs (representing students)and fixed errors where there were any. We may have begun with different paragraphs about to deal with technology, but we end up with a more polished version of what we started. Our essay was not perfect , I doubt any were, and neither is technology. It is all a process of writing, checking the writing, and either keeping it or changing it.

stock-chart-blue

One of the comments that stuck out to me the most would definitely have to be a student ,mentioning a Buzzfeed article, stating  that “sometimes we don’t need data to tell us when we are happy, or full, or slept well. We just know when those things happen to us.” While I do agree with this statement, I would like to propose the viewpoint that this “knowing” is under appreciated and will soon cease to exist. I’m certain that there are biological ways to explain the emotions that we feel, but I think our mentality is perhaps the most important indicator of such feeling. If we value the ability to feel happy and know that we are happy, then we will continue to experience this. However, if we do not value it then it does not become useful to us. Many modern day humans are beginning to value the numbers more than the experience, and thus will lose the ability to “know” their emotions. Numbers are increasingly becoming such a big aspect of our lives, and the quantified self has aided this process. People want to see numbers. The number is a sort of validation of their existence and gives them feelings of certainty. Any person could easily say that they are happy, or that they are not, and this can be disputed. If there are numbers that tell us “heart rate increasing, you are happy/excited” then this feeling cannot be disputed. My argument goes back to the saying “use it or lose it.” Sadly, I feel that people are no longer valuing the ability to feel emotion as often and will lose it. Yes, we can feel emotion, but for how long? Will there be a point where data is the only source of feeling? The near future will reveal the answer.