Dr. Hart-Davidson is associate professor and associate chairperson in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric & American Cultures at Michigan State University where he directs the graduate program in Rhetoric & Writing and co-directs the Writing in Digital Environments (WIDE) Research Center. Bill's research lies at the intersection of technical communication and human-computer interaction, and brings rhetoric and writing studies to bear on the creation and use of writing technologies.
Bill Hart-Davidson earned a Ph.D. in English with concentrations in Professional Writing and Cultural Studies at Purdue University in 1999. He is an associate professor and associate chairperson in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric & American Cultures at Michigan State University where he directs the graduate program in Rhetoric & Writing and co-directs the Writing in Digital Environments (WIDE) Research Center. Bill's research lies at the intersection of technical communication and human-computer interaction, and brings rhetoric and writing studies to bear on the creation and use of writing technologies. At Michigan State, Bill teaches professional and technical writing theory, research methods, content management, interaction design, and web authoring. His published work has appeared recently in the Journal of Business & Technical Communication, Technical Communication Quarterly, Computers & Composition, and the Journal of Community Informatics. He is also a principal in a public/private venture, Drawbridge LLC, that brought a WIDE invention called Eli Review to market in 2011.
Software Demo: Wed, Feb 8 @ 10 AM in Ross 420
Eli Review: Peer Scaffolding & Evidence Based Teaching
Eli Review is a web service that supports the coordination and evaluation of peer review activity. Created for writing teachers by writing teachers, Eli provides a revolutionary set of resources for evidence-based teaching of writing in both higher-ed and K-12 classrooms. Bill Hart-Davidson is one of the inventors of Eli. In this session, he will discuss how Eli implements the Vygotskyian concept of peer scaffolding, allowing peer exemplars to emerge from review activity in ways that let students calibrate and course-correct. When review criteria are aligned with learning goals, teachers can use review results to get a real-time picture of where students are doing well and where they may need additional help.
Talk: Wed, Feb 8 @ 1 PM in Ross 212
Available Means: Creating Ways for Technical Communication Researchers to Make Positive Interventions in Public Health
In this presentation I will report on a series of three projects completed in 2011 that sought to improve public health outcomes related to obesity and the prevention of diseases linked to obesity. The work I did on these projects was intended to bring writing studies within reach of a research category that the National Institutes of Health terms “translation studies,” wherein we work to implement communication-based interventions that implement treatments that have previously been shown to have high clinical efficacy in disease prevention.
Working with agency partners such as the Michigan Fitness Foundation and the Michigan Nutrition Network, our team built a web services infrastructure that leverages social media, location-aware mobile devices, embedded sensors, and wireless internet connectivity to create feedback loops that may positively influence individual and group decision-making in nutrition and physical activity domains.
Our demonstrations show that we can deliver real or near-real time feedback loops that may influence decision-making for activities with hundreds or thousands of participants. These can become the basis for large-scale studies to determine if access to this information influences behaviors have public health benefits. We can vary the type of feedback participants may see to include everything from precision analytical data to participant-created narrative and photos. Our next study makes use of activity streaming to investigate how individuals and groups may be motivated to make lifestyle decisions about both physical activity and nutritional habits that correlate with positive public health outcomes. This is work that has important implications for lowering obesity rates and, thereby, reducing risk factors for disease related to obesity. In these studies our system and access to varies “treatment conditions” consisting of combinations narrative, image, and analytical data are the primary interventions meant to improve the health of individuals and the public.