The politics of discourse design: Distance delivery of education by two-way video in Alaska
AuthorMadison, Curtis John
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractDuring the fail semester of 1995, a demonstration of educational delivery via two-way video began as a partnership among the major academic units of the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, Anchorage and Juneau, the University of Alaska Learning Center, KUAC-TV, Telecommunication Network Services and Arctic Sivunmun Illisagvik College in Barrow. The project broke new ground in Alaska by combining open broadcast of PBS television signal with a closed circuit compressed video network. Success of the project depended on the close collaboration across academic disciplines, institutional boundaries, and epistemologies. Native Ways of Knowing (ANS 461) was taught by Dr. Oscar Kawagley from a studio in Fairbanks to 10 co-located students, 26 distributed enrolled students, and hundreds of un-enrolled students in the broadcast audience. The project was technologically complex as it sought to combine the advantages of a widely distributed student cohort, five distinct eco-systems, a mandate for significantly increased courseware distribution in the University of Alaska system, and cutting edge telecommunications hardware in a rural, remote setting. This analysis of the project seeks to answer two questions related to choice of discourse features. First, how do the participants in a distant education project translate their goals and interests into discourse features? Second, how well did the features of the achieved NWK design reflect the competing interests of the participants? Clearly, discourse design is not value free. but must emerge as a result of a politicized contest. The features of a discourse such as: regulation of turn-taking, protection of privacy, and access to a speaking turn have direct consequences for discourse outcomes. This study seeks to include discourse features as a problematic outcome from a negotiated distribution of resources.
Degree ProgramGraduate College