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Making sense digitally: Conversational coherence in online and mixed-mode contexts
Umeå universitet, Humanistisk fakultet, Institutionen för språkstudier. Umeå universitet, Humanistisk fakultet, HUMlab.
2009 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

Successful interaction makes sense to its participants – it is, in other words, coherent. As different resources are employed to indicate mutual orientation by showing which actions are linked and where attention is paid, coherent conversation can be said to be achieved multimodally. This thesis builds on an interactional and ecological theoretical basis, and investigates how strategies for sense-making vary depending on the context of interaction.

Specifically, this is a study of interaction in different types of multimodal and multiplex communication situations. The characteristics of these technology-rich communication situations are mapped and, primarily through ethnographic methods and interaction analysis, it is investigated how conversational coherence is maintained. Furthermore, it is suggested how the findings can be applied to inform interaction design.

The analysis presented is based on results from four case studies, dealing with different aspects of coherence creation in different English speaking contexts. Study 1 investigates coherence in intertwined threads in dyad instant messaging (IM) interaction, and Study 2 focuses on coherence through conversational feedback strategies in interaction in a multimodal desktop video conferencing system. Study 3 has a somewhat broader focus, as the multiple communication channels in which one participant is involved are all taken into consideration in the investigation of sequential coherence. Finally, in Study 4, the physical and digital interaction in a partly shared studio space is investigated, with an emphasis on how mutual orientation is established during conversation initiation.

The findings show that when addressing coherence it is important to acknowledge both dynamic aspects of context, such as activity and participants, and more static aspects, such as communicative affordances of environments and tools. In online and mixed-mode interaction, the notion of context becomes particularly complex, as participants are simultaneously part of both the individual context, which may include digital tools for communication, and the shared context of interaction (polycontextuality). In this thesis, it is further shown that this has consequences for coherent conversation initiation and possibilities to engage in multiple semi-simultaneous conversations (polyfocality). Additionally, the results emphasize the importance of explicit linguistic strategies in computer-mediated interaction.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2009. , s. 85
Serie
Studier i språk och litteratur från Umeå universitet ; 7
Nyckelord [en]
Conversational coherence, context, communicative affordances, conversation analysis, multimodality, cohesion, sequential structure, attention, polyfocality, polycontextuality
Nationell ämneskategori
Studier av enskilda språk Kommunikationsvetenskap
Forskningsämne
engelska
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-26060ISBN: 978-91-7264-852-4 (tryckt)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-26060DiVA, id: diva2:236358
Distributör:
Institutionen för språkstudier, 901 87, Umeå
Disputation
2009-10-17, Hörsal E, Humanisthuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:00 (Engelska)
Opponent
Handledare
Tillgänglig från: 2009-09-25 Skapad: 2009-09-22 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-06-08Bibliografiskt granskad
Delarbeten
1. Disrupted turn adjacency and coherence maintenance in instant messaging conversations
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Disrupted turn adjacency and coherence maintenance in instant messaging conversations
2009 (Engelska)Ingår i: Language@internet, ISSN 1860-2029, Vol. 6, nr 2Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

This article reports on a study of coherence in text-based log files from 120 two-party Instant Messaging (IM) conversations among a group of international students at a design school. The goals of the study were to investigate whether disrupted turn adjacency was an obstacle to coherence and to identify the linguistic strategies employed to maintain coherence. Additional signs of problematic coherence creation were also investigated, focusing on explicit signs of miscommunication. In this particular context, disrupted turn adjacency was not found to be a problem. Whereas devices for textual cohesion can be important, links between utterances can also be identified based on timing and distinctions between different types of feedback, as well as sequencing. The additional signs of miscommunication were all related to different aspects of problematic grounding. The article concludes with suggestions for design improvements to the IM tool.

Nyckelord
Instant Messaging, disrupted turn adjacency, cohesive strategies, implicit and explicit cues, sequencing, turn-taking
Nationell ämneskategori
Studier av enskilda språk Kommunikationsvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-26068 (URN)
Tillgänglig från: 2009-09-22 Skapad: 2009-09-22 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-06-08Bibliografiskt granskad
2. Multimodal student interaction online: An ecological perspective
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Multimodal student interaction online: An ecological perspective
2009 (Engelska)Ingår i: ReCALL, ISSN 0958-3440, E-ISSN 1474-0109, Vol. 21, nr 2, s. 186-205Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

This article describes the influence of tool and task design on student interaction in language learning at a distance. Interaction in a multimodal desktop video conferencing environment, FlashMeeting, is analyzed from an ecological perspective with two main foci: participation rates and conversational feedback strategies. The quantitative analysis of participation rates shows that as far as verbal interaction is concerned, multimodality did not have an equalizing effect in this context, contradicting previous research on multimodal student interaction. Additionally, the qualitative analysis of conversational feedback strategies shows that whereas some multimodal strategies were employed, the students did not manage to fully act upon the communicative affordances of the tool, as the feedback ratio during and after the often long broadcasts was relatively low. These findings are related to task and tool design and the article discusses how design improvements in these areas might result in a more constructive language learning ecology.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009
Nyckelord
Language learning ecology, task and tool design, multimodal desktop video conferencing, equalization, common ground, conversational feedback
Nationell ämneskategori
Kommunikationsvetenskap Studier av enskilda språk
Forskningsämne
engelska; pedagogik
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-26058 (URN)10.1017/S0958344009000184 (DOI)
Tillgänglig från: 2009-09-22 Skapad: 2009-09-22 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-06-08Bibliografiskt granskad
3. Multiplex conversations afforded by technology
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Multiplex conversations afforded by technology
2007 (Engelska)Ingår i: Proceedings of the 40th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2007Konferensbidrag, Publicerat paper (Refereegranskat)
Abstract [en]

This article presents results from a small-scale pilot study investigating linguistic production and structural patterns while multitasking and interrelating these findings with communicative context (Field, Tenor and Mode). The explorative microanalysis shows that whereas the language used by the informant seems to be influenced by all three contextual variables, Field, Tenor and Mode, the navigation between channels in this specific multiplex communication situation strongly correlates to the affordances of the Mode of conversation and more specifically to the ways in which the informant receives indications that her reply is requested. The article includes design considerations and a discussion concerning methodology and ethics. This study and the findings presented here are considered a first building block in constructing a theory for explaining communicative choices when multitasking.

Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-17024 (URN)
Anmärkning
Konferensen finns som CD-ROM.Tillgänglig från: 2007-01-29 Skapad: 2007-01-29 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-06-09Bibliografiskt granskad
4. Coherent conversation initiation in multiplex communicative ecologies
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Coherent conversation initiation in multiplex communicative ecologies
2010 (Engelska)Ingår i: Human IT, ISSN 1402-1501, E-ISSN 1402-151X, Vol. 10, nr 3, s. 89-130Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

This article reports on results from an ethnographic study of student interaction at a design school. The aim of the article is to explore the relation between communicative affordances, mode choices and coherence strategies in multiplex communicative ecologies. This is done through a focus on the choices made when initiating conversations in this setting. First the complete communicative ecologies of three international students in the design school are mapped, in order to demonstrate the options available, and focus is then turned to in-group interaction in particular. It is shown that the choices made can be related to the communicative affordances of the tools and the environments in relation to different considerations regarding attention. Whose attention do you want? When do you want attention and what kind of attention do you need? Can you get the attention of the other through the mode of your choice, and is now a good time to do so? In this discussion, also the physical location of the participants is taken into account. Furthermore, it is suggested how balanced awareness can be of relevance for coherent conversation initiation, and suggestions for design are presented.

Nyckelord
Communicative ecologies, communicative affordances, coherence, conversation initiation, instant messaging
Nationell ämneskategori
Studier av enskilda språk Kommunikationsvetenskap
Forskningsämne
engelska
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-26089 (URN)
Tillgänglig från: 2009-09-23 Skapad: 2009-09-23 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-06-08Bibliografiskt granskad

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