research poster by Kathleen Cool

Posters, Videos and Other News

research poster by Kathleen Cool

First off, I want to thank everyone for “liking” my first post. Such a show of support is not only encouraging for a “newbie” like me, but also proves my thesis that a sense of community and in turn, emotional attachment to a community (whether virtual or actual) is a huge motivator for retention.

Since posting my last entry, I’ve been raking my feeble mind as to how to present my research on this blog and how to involve you as not only participants but “co-researchers.” With that said, I figured that I should have you chime in. Ultimately, I need to give you more background as to what exactly I’m doing and hoping to achieve. Vaneeesa suggested that I post parts of my dissertation (my preliminary work – mostly literature review) on the blog in a serial-type fashion. I’m not sure if such blatant academic jargon would be of interest to anyone, so let me know if you have any ideas as to how I should present my research/thoughts. Of course, what I have so far is only “part 1” of the story – aka MY side of the story. “Part 2” is YOUR side of the story – this is where your participation, feedback, input, etc. will come into play.

You will see that I am using a Gadamerian approach to hermeneutic phenomenology where I use both my preexisting thoughts and feelings about how virtual art is experienced as well as those of others. Ultimately, I concede that even with total transparency, I am still, as a third party, interpreting your experience of virtual art – in other words, I cannot experience it as you do since I do not have the same background, values, culture, etc. as you. The resulting work will be your experiences re-interpreted, to some extent, by my own experiences, prejudices, etc. What is so crucial about having a “community” of researchers at this point is for you guys to draw attention to these inherent prejudices in my work and ultimately, to make me see through your eyes, beyond my limited horizon as an academician.

To start things of, here is a poster I did at the beginning of this year. It gives a nice overview of what I am doing and where I am going with it. You can also check out this video of my presentation. My session starts at 3:53.


Author: Kathleen Cool
I am a graduate student studying how people experience informal education, particularly art, in virtual worlds such as Second Life. My background is in both Art History and Computer Science. Please feel free to email me or IM me in SL (Kathleen Koolhoven) if you have any questions regarding my current research or want to participate in my study.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.