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Dissertation Information for Mary Lynn Rice-Lively

- Mary Lynn Rice-Lively
- (Alias) Mary Lynn Rice-Liveley

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- University of Texas, Austin (USA) (1996)

- Philip Doty

- Billie Grace Herring
- Frederick Dowell Williams
- Brooke E. Sheldon
- E. Glynn Harmon

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: Sensemaking in networked learning environments

Abstract: Rigorous, user-centered study of a networked learning environment contributes to a view of how individuals seek to understand events and information mediated within electronic contexts. The setting for this study was two university classes separated by hundreds of miles, but linked by teleconferencing and Internet-based communication. Ethnographic research techniques facilitated the systematic exploration of social sensemaking and the cultural patterns of behavior and interactions among class participants. Sensemaking names a theory and the process of how people (1) reduce uncertainty or ambiguity; and (2) socially negotiate meaning. Study participants noted that teleconferencing detracted from social interaction and social sensemaking because the teleconferencing-mediated messages appeared to be flawed or incomplete because teleconferencing messages (1) omitted socio-emotional cues important to communication and confused individuals' understanding of events or situations; (2) confused participants because of the transparency or the opacity of the technology; or (3) omitted contextual information from the message. The absence of sensory (intuitive and perceptual senses) information such as feelings, intuitions, and contextual information during teleconferencing dramatized and exaggerated behaviors and attitudes leading to cross-class section misunderstandings and conflict. Teleseminar participants developed and used their skills as "bricoleurs," persons who use the resources and tools at hand, to facilitate social interaction by inventing techniques for more effective communication during teleconferencing interactions. Participants also sought social sensemaking interactions in small groups in the face-to-face setting conducting conversations beyond the reach of the microphone or the camera. Further study of social sensemaking might use alternative data collection techniques such as video taping and analyzing interactions or consider social interactions of teleconferencing participants within the context of their social interactions. The study has implications both for the tools mediating the class and for sensemaking theory. Users of teleconferencing must (1) develop skills for effective teleconferencing communication and interaction; (2) incorporate alternatives for social interaction and social sensemaking; and (3) acknowledge the differences between face-to-face and teleconferencing interactions. Future sensemaking research must include systematic consideration of the study group's social and cultural context.

MPACT Scores for Mary Lynn Rice-Lively

A = 1
C = 8
A+C = 9
T = 1
G = 1
W = 1
TD = 1
TA = 0
calculated 2010-09-28 00:38:13

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Students under Mary Lynn Rice-Lively

- Suellen S. Adams - University of Texas, Austin (2006)

- Walt Trybula - University of Texas, Austin (1999)
- Dennis Haire - University of Texas, Austin (2003)
- Bunhee Jeong - University of Texas, Austin (2004)
- Darius Mahdjoubi - University of Texas, Austin (2004)
- Kevin Rioux - University of Texas, Austin (2004)
- Heiko Haubitz - University of Texas, Austin (2005)
- Robert Watt Strong - University of Texas, Austin (2005)
- Lance Alan Hayden - University of Texas, Austin (2009)