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

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Travels in intertextuality: The autopoetic identity of remix culture

Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

Travels in Intertextuality aims for what John Berger would call "ways of seeing" digital media artifacts and interacting cultural texts. Using Lev Manovich’s Language of New Media, these "new media objects" are seen through the metaphorical "coordinated set of lenses" of Michael Cole’s Cultural Psychology. In addressing issues of "writing" and identity in the digital age at the intersection of technology, art, and commerce, this highly exploratory work looks for ways to perceive "value" in remix culture through ecological models of sociocultural systems. The thesis "follows the problem" of remix through "pioneering research", "reflective practice", and shifting contexts for expansive learning. Emerging from significant pools of digital media, "remix value" is analysed through cultural-historical perspectives, as well as through the autopoietic perspectives of "self-making" biological and sociolinguistic systems.

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

Mapping local ontologies: Authentic semantics for learning object evaluation

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

Currently, there are no feasible subject taxonomies for learning objects. Large and standardized library classification systems do not present subject descriptors matching varying local practices. When searching for learning objects, teachers, instructional designers and students prefer to use subject terms with which they are already familiar. This research describes the form and function of a mapping ontology created to translate between a central subject ontology and a local subject ontology. An implemented case shows how the mapping ontology can allow teachers working with the British Columbia Ministry of Education science curriculum to search and evaluate learning objects catalogued in a repository (eLera) according to a modified form of Dewey Decimal Classification. An information retrieval evaluation showed that subject search with ontology mapping has greater retrieval precision level than simple keyword search. A usability survey showed a strong user preference for subject search with ontology mapping over keyword search.

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

Comparative analysis of software piracy determinants among Pakistani and Canadian university students: Demographics, ethical attitudes and socio-economic factors

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

Software piracy is widespread in many parts of the world. P2P websites such as Kazaa have made it easier to access pirated software, which has resulted in increased emphasis on the issue of software piracy in both the software industry and research community. Some factors that determine piracy include poverty, cultural values, ethical attitudes, religion, and education. Empirical studies have looked at software piracy as an intentional behaviour. This study explores the demographic, ethical and socio-economical factors that can represent software piracy as an unintentional behaviour among a developing country’s university students. The author has conducted a comparative analysis of university students from Pakistan and Canada, two countries that differ economically and culturally. The results of the study indicate that software piracy behaviour is different in both groups of students, but that there are also some similarities. Future research directions and implications are also presented.

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

Interpretive practice in laptop music performance

Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

Laptop music performance has proliferated as a new form of practice over the past decade, resulting in new approaches and challenges to musical norms. This paper describes issues in laptop music performance, and discusses approaches in computer music research in relation to a qualitative study of "minimal" electronic music practice. The research aims to understand the social and technological dimensions of laptop music performance through a synthesis of methodological frameworks found in Technology Studies including Andrew Feenberg's "Instrumentalization Theory" and Trevor Pinch and Weibe Bijker's "Social Construction of Technology" (SCOT) These perspectives are combined with first-person methodologies and will show how the "minimal" electronic music community of practice interprets laptop music performance as an extension of the recording studio-as-musical instrument, and the techniques and musical form of DJ culture. The research examines Robert Henke's Monodeck and Ableton Live as examples of the instantiation of interpretations in the "minimal" context.

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

The communication middleware for collaborative learning object repository network

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

Web Service Description Language (WSDL) is designed for well-defined services. This requirement is essential for Web Services (WS) to ensure interoperability throughout a service lifecycle, support service-oriented architecture, and provide solid framework for business transactions. However, this constraint makes WSDL unsuitable for defining common interface functions for a collaborative system. This thesis argues that XML-based messaging middleware infrastructure is more effective and suitable for providing communication protocol for an evolving and collaborative system. The infrastructure can benefit from the well-established WS framework without depending on the WS technologies. We underpin our claim through the design and implementation of the eduSource Communication Layer (ECL). We show how XML-based messaging middleware can expand WS technologies to provide communication framework for an ongoing developing environment of learning object repository networks. Finally, we confirm the advantage of our approach using comparative analysis and use our experiences to write guidelines and recommendations for future development.

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

Assemble to order learning management system

Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

Every Learning Management System (LMS) comes with a unique bundle of functionalities. Most of these functionalities are neither portable nor common across various LMS. That is, a functionality developed for one LMS cannot be integrated within another LMS. Having noted that the process of software development is not very different from industrial production, we suggest a way of applying the principles of production management to software development in eLearning, particularly in the design of LMS. The functionalities in LMS are developed based on the notion of Assemble to Order (ATO) commonly found in industrial produc tion. The thesis contends that LMS designed using the ATO approach will allow scalable and adaptable integration of functionalities across LMS. The thesis substantiates this claim using a case scenario and analytical results obtained from software engineering metrics such as Function Point Analysis (FPA) and Lines Of Code (LOC).

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

MovementXML: A representation of semantics of human movement based on Labanotation

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

Most of us are familiar with music notations. Dance notations, on the other hand, have not gained widespread acceptance. This can be attributed to the fact that dance notations, and human movement notations in general, are inherently complex. This complexity has also hindered researches in the field. Up to now, there is no de facto standard for dance score interchange. Labanotation is the most prevalent among the different human movement notations. Most technological advances so far have revolved around displaying and editing Labanotation scores using the computer. Applications such as the LabanWriter store the dance scores in a graphical format that is neither suitable for interpretation nor analysis. LabanXML, the latest advancement in the representation of Labanotation, falls short of describing the more complex aspects of Labanotation. This study uses an object-oriented approach to come up with an XML-based representation that captures the semantics of Labanotation.

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

Revealing hidden structure: visualizing bibliographic coupling and co-citation relations in multimedia collections

Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

Many digital collections share a common structure in which a collection, the objects collected and the meaning of the collection can be separately considered. We present a data structure comprising exhibitions, annotations, and resources (EAR) as a general device for organizing such collections. People author EAR structures and other people value these acts of authorship in understanding a large collection. Through co-citation and bibliographic coupling, EAR structures form a general graph that is hard for people to interpret. My research hypothesis is that recognizing, analyzing, prototyping and evaluating the EAR triangle can result in both generalizable insight and new tools for information visualization and system design. I introduce NEAR, a graph visualization tool aimed at helping people understand and use EAR structures. The design, implementation and evaluation follow a user-centered design process in three spiral cycles. The thesis concludes with a discussion of the design and its generalizability.

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

COMPSOFT - A platform for online problem-based learning for health care professionals

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

PBL has been widely adopted by medical schools for years. However, implementing PBL curricula in online environments pose specific challenges to educators. Although existing technologies can alleviate some of the challenges, none of them comprehensively address the key aspects of a PBL curriculum. COMPSOFT, a software platform, has been designed to support key aspects of online PBL. COMPSOFT consists of a number of software components. Each of them supports or enhances a specific aspect of PBL. They work cooperatively, complementing each other to provide a rather complete online PBL environment. This project details the rationale, design and implementation of such a software environment. A usability test was performed where several students worked through a medical PBL case, online, under the guidance of a facilitator using COMPSOFT. The usability test results, addressing what is working well, what is not working well, and how to improve the PBL environment, have been encouraging and the participants rated the platform positively.

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

Software-supported self-regulated learning strategies in an academic setting

Author: 
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

Research on learning strategies and tactics has become important to explain students’ self-regulated learning. This study, informed by Winne’s self-regulated learning model, investigated students’ use of strategies and tactics in an authentic learning environment. Participants were 176 students in an introductory educational psychology course. Students used cognitive tools in gStudy, an educational software application, to facilitate learning. The Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) was used to identify strategies and tactics reported by students. A cluster analysis was conducted to select representative students for qualitative content analysis of notes made while studying. The analysis identified two clusters, high-regulators and low-regulators. For each cluster, three representative participants were selected whose MSLQ reports were near the cluster centre. Content analysis of the six participants’ notes was conducted to qualitatively describe the learning strategies of the high-regulators and low-regulators.

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