James at Lloud

Works and thoughts about digital communication & education

Way Back Machine – James’ Masters Degree

I was recently asked for a copy of my master’s degree work which was actually a bit of a surprise.  That work seems so long ago (2006) but in reflection it has been a major milestone in my learning technology journey.  Ever since that work I have been searching for opportunities to apply the concepts discovered and how I could connect those to an occupation.  I am still searching for that connection.  Like many other activities that become passion, the risk of ‘quitting my job day’ is a confounding limitation.

To share the work, I am posting both the thesis paper and the related master’s exam paper that I wrote.  The project was conducted to better understand concepts of learning in virtual worlds and was specifically written about the onboarding experience in Second Life.  

Just a little explanation is needed to provide context for the character of the project.  The work was conducted at the University of Wisconsin Graduate School in Madison, in the School of Education and specializing in the Education Technology program.  The faculty at that time was very much informed by a postmodernist perspective that was examining the fallacy of the ‘objective observer’ and placing emphasis on the personal and experiential influence of the researcher on the researched.

I believe that because of those influences the tone of writing is, as my advising professor Michael Thomas noted, ‘a bit chatty.’  In the final analysis I find that the work is not academically rigorous but as a chronicle and reflection on a specific time and a juncture of cultural transition corresponding to the Gartner Hype Cycle that was very much part of the Second Life phenomenon.

Here then are the links to the documents, posted in .pdf format.



Collaborative Face-tagging

For the past year I have been searching for the optimal method to collect my personal and family photographs online, sync them locally for archival purposes and then to collaborate with family members to annotate and tag the photos.  I’ve not yet found a solution, but I am learning many things.  Today I found this website: http://www.facetag.org/ There are great list of concepts here involved with community-based taxonomies or ‘folksomonies.’  I think this is largely beyond the Flickr’s and Picasa’s of our current online environment but it is bound to occur soon.

I recall that when I was at Promega there already existed a tool for this in Sharepoint.  It was implemented in the user profile section under the label ‘skills’ and it involved the use of adding skills either by typing or using a pick list – but the pick list was built from ALL USERS entries.  So over time the community would decide if the most common way of typing ‘PowerPoint’ was ‘PowerPoint, powerpoint or Powerpoint’.

This of course become one of my frustrations because I’d asked the Sharepoint administrator if I could use this type of selector to for the category of “Product Names” and have a common, user updated list.  Nope, that was simply not possible and became another arrow in the early adopter back. 🙂

About The Author

James Chris Lloyd

 Learning Technologist
 - Instructional Design
 - Media Production
 - Curricular Analysis
 - Communities of Practice
 - Virtual Environments

"I can make it work."


Favored Quotes

"Early adopters are like indian scouts - they often return with arrows in their backs - just don't take it personally."

"If you can't be handsome you'd better be handy."

"Life is a journey."