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Collaborative interface: Writing the Web with interactive multimedia and virtual reality

, State University of New York at Albany, United States

State University of New York at Albany . Awarded


This dissertation argues that writing the web is a process of interactivity among participants through a collaborative interface of word, image, and sound. The Web is discussed in this project as a hybrid medium for writing in various forms. This interactive environment is also theorized as a medium for the production of original student projects in collaboration with other authors. As such, we need to re-think our understanding of writing beyond print, text, and hypertext, to account for the visual, aural, virtual, and interactive elements of the Web. This critical inquiry into the pedagogical aspect of digital media is examined through five inter-related frameworks: interfacing, orality, visuality, virtuality, and textuality.

This project takes an interdisciplinary approach that explores prior precedents in multimedia and virtual reality in twentieth century collage on paper and canvas. Nineteenth century developments in photography will also be examined. For instance, the diorama and daguerreotype are discussed as nascent virtual realities that challenged cultural expectations concerning the nature of representation and truth. These early artistic and technological developments are examined within a contemporary context of the World Wide Web, which is theorized as a collage-like fictive space for composition. This dissertation examines web based multimedia in detail including several examples of Internet Art featured in the Whitney Biennial 2000.

While this digital medium is unique and innovative, the component parts of the Web can be better understood in relation to a history of oral tradition, literature, print, painting, photography, and technologies of code, such as the telegraph. This is an important perspective to consider as we utilize web-based multimedia, networked hypertext, and virtual reality interfaces in education. Technology continues to be a major force in educational environments, yet teachers often struggle with how to effectively teach with new media in ways to support writing and literacy. We gain insights about how to write with and teach with this medium by avoiding uncritical assumptions concerning the expectations of technology to automatically resolve pedagogical issues. While this project takes a theoretical and historical approach to these issues, the central concern of this dissertation relates to the role of teachers in this writing process.


Mackey, T.P. Collaborative interface: Writing the Web with interactive multimedia and virtual reality. Ph.D. thesis, State University of New York at Albany. Retrieved August 2, 2021 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

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