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Kenneth C. C. Yang: Jak díky výpočetním technologiím porozumět lidské zkušenosti

21. 1. 2024
Kenneth C. C. Yang: Jak díky výpočetním technologiím porozumět lidské zkušenosti

Kenneth C. C. Yang je profesor komunikace. Jako rodák z Tchaj-wanu předtím, než emigroval do USA na své pedagogické místo, transformoval své výzkumné zájmy z tradičních společenských věd na datový a počítačový výzkum nestrukturovaných textů a diskurzů produkovaných lidmi. Během podzimu 2023 působil Kenneth jako Fulbrightův stipendista na Katedře mediálních a žurnalistických studií Masarykovy univerzity (MUNI) v Brně. 


Kenneth’s Presentation at Charles University, Prague, November 2023.

Trained as a new media researcher at Ohio State University at Columbus, Kenneth is constantly amazed by the advances and impacts of technologies on contemporary human experiences and how researchers are empowered for their research. During Fall 2023, Kenneth served as a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar at the Department of Media and Journalism Studies of Masaryk University (MUNI) in Brno. Kenneth offered an undergraduate course in New Media Advertising that introduced MUNI students to the latest developments of new technologies and how these technologies can be utilized for their careers in the field of communication. At the end of the semester, students proposed their new media advertising campaigns to promote Brno, the third largest city where MUNI is located.

When asked about his teaching experiences with the Czech students in his classes, Kenneth shared a couple of observations with implementing the American-type pedagogy.

What was his experience?

The Erasmus program offers courses taught in English and possibly with instructors from overseas. So, I assume that students taking my classes have prior experiences with non-Czech pedagogy, thus without too much resistance. However, my interactions with these students have found that they were more accustomed to lecture-only pedagogy that does not integrate student participation and teamwork into the teaching activities. Compared with my American students, they are more shy and less active in speaking up in class. I would not say this experience constitutes a cultural shock because I had some understanding of the instruction styles in the Czech classroom when I prepared my proposal for the Fulbright Grant. The September 17-18 orientation program at Prague also helped me confirm my past literature readings on how Czech students learn


Students in the New Media Advertising Class Shared their Campaign to Promote Brno, Fall 2023.

Coming from a teaching culture emphasizing students’ active learning in the higher education classroom, I have intentionally included different ACUE pedagogical approaches (ACUE stands for The Association of College and University Educators). For example, students must complete pre-lecture readings before attending the class sessions, and PowerPoint files were shared instead of asking them to jot down what the instructor would say in class. Instead of asking them to speak up in front of the class, I have encouraged them to work as a team to create a more comfortable space to transition more smoothly into a more American pedagogical approach by working with their peers. While I am still analyzing the quantitative and qualitative data I have collected, their narratives before they exited the class at the end of the semester found that students in these classes found weekly assignments favorable. One student said "the weekly assignments helped satisfy the learning objectives present in each lesson. Therefore, they did help me earn more effectively", "They are a good method to do assignments and yes they helped me more to learn effectively…...", "I think it was helpful to understand more about the course and to show our knowledge taught in weekly study materials."

Instead of requiring students to ask questions in front of the class, I have adopted the Exit Assignment approach that I learned from the ACUE certification modules. So that all students will write down their questions, I can address them in the next class before they leave the classroom. The approach is perceived favorably, as one student said, “especially as -3 assignment as a big role to encourage students to ask questions."


Students in the New Media Advertising Class Shared their Campaign to Promote Brno, Fall 2023.

The implementation of team-based learning is perceived positively among students because this approach could create more student engagement and help them learn better. I strongly believe each class session should be like a movie trailer to entice and motivate students to learn by themselves. One student said, "We really enjoyed during teamworks together. I think they were really engaging and helpful." Another student said, "It helped me a lot. It was interesting! Also, working with a team helped me to be responsible a team person! Thank you so much." The overall positive assessment about teamwork and team-based learning is generally shared by students as seen in this reflective narrative, "it does help learning more effectively, working on teams is good for sharing ideas and learn with each other."

I have found these experiences with my students at MUNI beneficial to my teaching improvement and research. I have submitted a paper based on my pedagogical implementations and observations (based on data collected from a mixed research method) to a conference that will be held in Poland this year. I have to thank Iveta Jansová at MUNI for helping me with administrative matters at the beginning of the semester before I was granted access to the Information System at MUNI. It helped me to get my classes started smoothly. Her warm welcome with several social activities was useful for me to fit in despite the short stay.


Event Announcement at the Charles University’s Webpage, Fall 2023.

During my stay in the Czech Republic, I was honored to accept the invitation to speak at The Institute of Communication Studies and Journalism at the historical Charles University in Prague. Thanks to this opportunity, I met more undergraduate and graduate students, and I presented my recent research that employed computational text mining techniques to analyze digital game players’ experiences playing the Squid Game. During the 90-minute presentation, titled “Employing a Computational Text Mining Method to Investigate Gameplayers’ Experiences in Squid Game: Theoretical and Methodological Implications for Communication Researchers”, I claimed that Squid Game’s success was partially due to the emergence of an international streaming platform, Netflix, and a Hollywood’s global approach to creative culture production that ultimately transformed a South Korean drama into a global sensation. The lecture demonstrated the latest applications in computational text mining techniques and how these techniques can help communication scholars analyze communication discourses in a new media era.


Zdroj: Komise J. Williama Fulbrightalogo Fulbrightova komise2

Článek vyšel v lednu 2024 na blogu Fulbrightovy komise.