Passed Qualifying Exams!

Qualifying Exam:
3 questions answered in 4 days, resulting in:
38 pages, 161 paragraphs, 9627 words

From December 2nd to December 5th, I took my qualifying exams, a milestone and requirement for completion of my doctoral degree in technical communication and rhetoric.  I answered the following three questions in just short of 10,000 words:

  1. Social Presence, Simulation, and TC
    Two of your proposed research questions deal with social presence and simulation (virtual communication) and how they affect online visually-based communication in an educational setting. Explain, in detail, the theoretical connections you perceive between social presence theory and theories of simulation (or simulated experience), citing key scholarly sources from your reading list. What factors are identified in the literature that would suggest a causal relationship between the level of simulation (or simulated experience) and the perception of social presence? What are the inherent limitations and at what point might simulated experience negatively impact social presence?
  2. Immediacy and Methods/Methodology in Your Dissertation within TCR
    Plato criticized writing because it removed immediacy from the verbal exchange. While OVC as described in your preproposal delivers a video representation of the interlocutors, it does so asynchronously, which means in Plato’s terms a definite lack of immediacy. It will be incumbent on you to demonstrate that “social-presence” is facilitated (to whatever degree) by an inclusion of video representation without the f2f immediacy of oral interaction. Explain how your surveys and interviews might calibrate a “presence” that encourages learning, and in your explanation provide whatever similar studies employing similar methods that you can. How do you expect to interpret reactions beyond the simple appeal of faces and gestures?
  3. Media Richness and Media Naturalness as Theories of Support in TCR
    Historically and theoretically, how have communicators, theorists, teachers, speakers, and writers conceived of media richness or media naturalness? In your view, with reference to Web 2.0 and the semantic web, as well as new media technologies, what is the evolution of our communication using electronic tools? You might refer to the impact of content distribution and replicability tools, consumerism and globalization, and option-based media in the workplace and in academe.

On December 13th, I met with my Dissertation committee, who congratulated me on passing the exam and offered feedback on how to improve the material to be used within the dissertation.

Following the formal submission of this milestone completion to the TTU graduate school, I am no longer a doctoral student, but rather am now a doctoral candidate, a.k.a. ABD (all but dissertation).

Next step: formal proposal.

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