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ERIC Number: ED546945
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 455
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2675-0510-1
The Dynamic Interplay between Spatialization of Written Units in Writing Activity and Functions of Tools on the Computer
Huh, Joo Hee
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, North Carolina State University
I criticize the typewriting model and linear writing structure of Microsoft Word software for writing in the computer. I problematize bodily movement in writing that the error of the software disregards. In this research, writing activity is viewed as bodily, spatial and mediated activity under the premise of the unity of consciousness and activity, and embodied mind. In order to explore the role and importance of bodily movement in writing tools, I hypothesized that when tools respond to human bodily movement well, and when they work as if they are extensions of the body, the best conditions of use during the process of writing will be possible. Also, spatial arrangement activity in writing was assumed to be a self-generated tool-making process for writing that regulates thought and behavior. And, I supposed that spatial image schemas could be manipulated with conceptually in the activity of writing. In an attempt to examine the assumption and hypothesis, and develop the concept, I investigated design graduate students' thesis document writing process in which I specifically checked the assumption by studying the effects of spatial activity. The design graduate students' writing process was interpreted through the lenses of activity theory, embodied reasoning, and Csikszentmihalyi's creative process model which included preparation, incubation, insight, evaluation and elaboration. I found that spatial activities such as the physical manipulation of written units, spatializing words, creating signs, and manipulating spatial-formal relations for concept development played an important role in reading, understanding, connecting, analyzing, synthesizing, hierarchizing, structuring, remembering, retrieving, communicating, a design project, an explorative research process, and integrating reading, a design project into writing. In the beginning of the writing process, having an hierarchically organized representation of conceptual relations of the thesis statement, problem areas, key words and theories by spatial arrangements of written units aided in its use in evolving writing structure and expansion of thought in imagination. Spatially externalizing thought played an important role in embodying the relationship between the reality where the research problem was located, knowledge, and embodied imagination, which was the function of mediated activity. The process of embodiment necessitated special qualities of writing tools with respect to bodily movement. The indeterminate qualities of writing tools enabled the correlation of the body, gesture, and the written units that the body manipulated to be physically easier. From an unorganized material basis, manipulating conceptual relations consisted of concrete physical skills such as using Post-its, making matrices, outlines, note cards, user path maps, concept maps, narrative concept maps, signs, sketch, diagrams, and models. Writers showed the significant difference in perceptions of tool affordances and concrete skills. In relation to spatial activity in the use of writing tools, writers showed five types of difference: an intensity of motivation, acquisition of a new tool-mediation, practice and a cognitive effort, a tendency to limit bodily, spatial and mediated activity within design activity, and increasing perceptions of tool affordances in proportion to practice, i.e., changing perceptions of tool affordances depending on an activity or developmental aspects. The perceptions of tool affordances did not form writer's meaningful activity. In conclusion, the expansion of thought was activated by making processes involving bodily movement, which produced the differences in the writing processes. The productive role of spatialization of written units involving physical manipulation in writing suggested a need for spatial activities in writing software in the computer. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A