Phenomenology of writing with unfamiliar tools in a semi-public environment: A case study
Gallagher, Philip B.
Russell, David R.
Is Version Of
This case study investigates the phenomenon of graduate students writing with unfamiliar digital tools in semi-public writing environments. The increase in the prevalence of writing with unfamiliar tools in semi-public environments, such as networked computer classrooms and university testing centers, makes it worthy of investigation. We use phenomenological interviews to examine the writing experiences of a group of graduate students writing in a classroom on unfamiliar computers equipped with a tool that tracked their keystrokes and eye movements. Though some of the writers had positive experiences with the tool's output and their reflective conversations about writing it prompted, they all had challenging experiences adjusting to the hardware, the physical requirements of the tool, and overcoming surveillance anxiety prompted by it. Some students who wrote in the semi-public environment using an unfamiliar tool benefitted but all were challenged by situational awareness, new hardware, new haptic interactions, surveillance anxiety, and lack of control. The study indicates a need to explore and address the factors of situation awareness, an adjustment period, and surveillance anxiety in situations where individuals are writing with unfamiliar tools in semi-public environments.
This accepted article is published as Gallagher, P.B., Meister, P., Russell, D.R., Phenomenology of writing with unfamiliar tools in a semi-public environment: A case study. Computers and Composition. Dec 2021 62(102668). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compcom.2021.102668. Posted with permission.
Phenomenology, Haptics, Surveillance, Writing environments, Technology