SIAT - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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Dynamic concept maps as knowledge representation tools for learning

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

The purpose of this thesis is to extend research on educational node-link displays with animated multimedia presentation. The thesis focuses on an empirical study of the learning effectiveness of a dynamic concept map synchronized with audio presentation. 133 undergraduates, who were randomly assigned to four groups, participated in this experiment. The two experimental groups viewed plain and graphically enhanced concept maps that were semantically equivalent to the narration. These animated concept maps were synchronized with the audio track. The two control groups viewed text versions of the narration, one synchronized with the audio track and another version preceding the audio track. All visual presentations were incremental and cumulative. Both map groups outperformed the text groups on a free recall test. The plain map group outperformed the text groups on a comprehension test. Implications of this work are discussed with respect to cognitive and multimedia theories of learning.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
School of Interactive Arts and Technology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.Sc.)

ReciproCity: construction of identity and social experiences in online environments

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

In natural communication, people are able to present and perceive social cues through many channels in order to aid the processes of identity formation and impression management. Many online social environments are poorly equipped for such exchanges, and offer few channels of expression to inform these social processes. The focus of this thesis is to gain an understanding of the relationship between online social experience, identity, reputation and representation. This research aims towards the successful design of online social environments that enable identity formation and impression management, and support rich social interaction amongst users. This thesis included a survey that details how participants present themselves and perceive others in online environments. The result of this research was the design of ReciproCity, an abstract graphical chat prototype that provides persistent reputation cues that are socially constructed and accrued over time. The design of ReciproCity was evaluated through a user study.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
L
Department: 
School of Interactive Arts & Technology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.Sc.)

Enhancing believability: evaluating the application of Delsarte's aesthetic system to the design of virtual humans

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

Characters play an important role in many interactive entertainment productions, including training simulations and computer and video games. Most current industry methods rely on heavy scripting, where voice acting, cut scene scripting, dialogue scripts, hand-coded animation routines, and hard-coded rules of behaviour are used to portray characters. Procedural animation is less expensive and time-consuming. However, there remains a gap between character models and their portrayal using computer graphics. In order to enhance believability, one must provide a coordinated and consistent expression of body movements. Delsarte’s system of expression is an artistic aesthetic system that can provide this so I evaluate it in this thesis. In order to compare it to a baseline, I had animators create first their own version, then follow Delsarte’s system. I then had viewers rate the characters’ traits. The results indicate that Delsarte’s system is a promising starting point for the creation of believable characters.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
M
Department: 
School of Interactive Arts & Technology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.Sc.)

Critical thinking in a synchronous online discourse: the pedagogical role of instant messaging in higher education

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

The adoption of Instant Messaging (IM) technology as an educational tool in higher educational practice is beginning to emerge, and concerns remain about the effectiveness of this technology in learning environments. This thesis reports on an exploratory study that used a mixed method approach to investigate the use of IM for promoting critical thinking in a synchronised online discussion, and the role of time as a variable for enhancing critical thinking skills. Two models for operationalising critical thinking in online environments were adopted for analysis and coding purposes. Results indicate that high-level critical thinking skills (e.g. Integration, Assessment, and Inference) were evident in generated discussions. We also found evidence of a positive correlation between time and critical thinking, further validating the potential role of IM in higher education. We discuss the implications of these findings and propose a planned integration strategy and structured discussion activities as part of that strategy.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
J
Department: 
School of Interactive Arts & Technology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.Sc.)

Design patterns: augmenting design practice in parametric CAD systems

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

Parametric Computer Aided Design systems facilitate complex design activities through generating, representing, and storing parametric relations and variations in design. The systems' increasing complexity impedes the ability of designers to explore and develop their work. Pattern, as a rhetorical structure, is a generic solution to a well-described problem. I hypothesize that a designer's learning and working process in parametric modeling applications can be well modeled by patterns, and making such patterns explicit can result in improved expert work practices, better learning material and support for collaborative design in parametric design environments. To achieve these goals, I designed and conducted a series of qualitative studies to search, gather, elicit, author, and communicate patterns in the context of a parametric modeling system - Bentley's GenerativeComponents™. Applying a cognitive framework of design activities, the evaluation studies show evidence of how parametric design patterns can augment and support design practice.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
R
Department: 
School of Interactive Arts & Technology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Dissertation (Ph.D.)

You can get more than you make

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

Clearly, exploring multiple alternatives can lead to better designs. Despite this wellknown fact, current computer-aided design systems provide only the most rudimentary tools for generating, storing, and visualizing alternatives. Hysterical space is a novel approach to discover alternatives in the solution space by using the interaction history with a parametric model. Implicit in any parametric model are the states a designer might have reached by combining variable settings in new ways. Such a model exhibits hysteresis, that is, path dependence — thus the name hysterical space. The thesis uses a simple definition of hysterical space as the Cartesian product of variable settings. It provides orderings of the space that yield feasible interactive search strategies. In turn, these orderings suggest interaction designs, which we report as working prototypes. Limited user evaluation supports a claim that hysterical space may be a useful approach to design space exploration.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
R
Department: 
School of Interactive Arts & Technology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.Sc.)

Towards browsing of distant metadata with semantic signature

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

One of the benefits of an E-Learning network is to connect users to distributed learning repositories where they can be exposed to numerous learning resources. However, metadata of learning resources stored in different repositories are often annotated with concepts defined by different ontologies or classifications specific to their organizations. That makes finding information based on a local conceptual framework difficult. Different organizations with different backgrounds and target audiences may use different terms with similar semantics to define and describe similar learning resources. As such, using a keyword-based approach to find relevant information may not yield satisfactory results. In this thesis, I describe a lightweight information integration solution for browsing federally distributed metadata without incurring expensive schema matching or semantic mapping. I present experiments on real-world data that validate the proposed solution. Finally, I discuss how this approach can simplify semantic mapping and enhance browsing experience in a distributed repository network.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
School of Interactive Arts and Technology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.Sc.)

The utility of role-playing methods in design

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

Role-playing methods have been widely used as tools to assist design ideation in research literature. However, there has been little research done to assess their utility and compare them to more traditional ideation methods such as brainstorming. This research aims to evaluate the utility of role-playing methods by comparing the outcome scenarios of four role-playing ideation sessions with users to the outcome scenarios of two brainstorming sessions with users. The findings show that role-playing sessions create more scenarios than traditional brainstorming sessions within an equal amount of time. Also, scenarios from role-playing sessions are generally superior in the amount of details they provide designers in terms of actor’s actions, settings, events, evaluations and plans. The research findings confirm the utility of role-playing methods as effective tools for design ideation with users. Additionally, the research points to methodological aspects that can potentially improve the results from the conducting of role-playing sessions.

Document type: 
Thesis
Supervisor(s): 
R
Department: 
School of Interactive Arts & Technology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.Sc.)

Mechanisms underlying perceptual-cognitive expertise in ice hockey: implications for the design of training simulations

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

In this thesis a novel use of the Recognition-Primed Decision Model (RPD), and its cognitive task analysis construct, the Critical Decision Method (CDM), is described, as a framework for investigating the underpinnings of expert decision-making in ice hockey. The CDM was employed to examine, in situ, the perceptual-cognitive factors used by elite and intermediate-level ice hockey players in the decision-making process. Data was coded and analyzed using a modified grounded theory approach. The results of study 1 showed that expert hockey players utilize a recognition-centric method of decision-making consistent with the RPD model of expertise. Elements from study 1 shown to be most salient to expert decision-making were used in the design of a training tool that targets the recognition phase of the decision-making process. Finally, a second study was conducted on a major component of the system to measure its effectiveness for transferring perceptual-cognitive learning to the field.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
R
Department: 
School of Interactive Arts & Technology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.Sc.)

Homeless: it’s no game - measuring the effectiveness of a persuasive videogame

Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

There is little empirical evidence for the effectiveness of persuasive games. Conceptually, little attention has been given to this issue. The videogame Homeless: It’s No Game was developed to test the thesis that the effectiveness of a persuasive videogame can be measured. Volunteers answered a survey of attitudes towards the homeless and then either played the videogame, read a short story about homelessness, or were part of a control group. The survey was re-administered two weeks later. Results were mixed, with some indicators showing increased sympathy towards the homeless and others showing no significant effect. Many questions remain to be explored, such as the effect of non-ludic factors, the duration of the persuasive effect, and whether different issues and different game genres play a role in the effectiveness of persuasive games; however the results do suggest lines for further inquiry.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
J
Department: 
School of Interactive Arts & Technology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.Sc.)