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Voyage across a Constellation of Information

Information Literacy in Interest-Driven Learning Communities

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Crystle Martin

What do orcs, elves, and information literacy have to do with each others? Find out in Voyage across a Constellation of Information as we take an in-depth look at information literacy practices (how people find, evaluate, and use information) in the massively multiplayer online game World of Warcraft and its online community. This book teases out real-world information literacy practices by following players as they solve their information needs through collective activity, relying on and building a set of individual and collective practices within the online community. Voyage across a Constellation of Information offers educators, information professionals, and researchers an opportunity to get an inside look at the new practices of digital spaces, and lays the groundwork for inclusion of these practices into 21st-century education.
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Chapter Five: Synchronous and Asynchronous Information as a Part of the Constellation

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•  CHAPTER FIVE  •

The constellation of information outlined in this study is comprised of a variety of different resources as visualized in the information horizon maps from the previous chapter. These resources fall into three general categories: those that offer synchronous communication; those that offer asynchronous communication; and static resources which offer no ability for a member of the community to alter, contribute or interact with them. Synchronous and asynchronous resources will be examined as ways for members of the community to get their questions answered by other members of a community. Before we explore those resources, though, a note about static resources. They actually do occasionally come in to play in the synchronous and asynchronous resources, so they are not completely isolated from the collective and collaborative environment of the community. However, these resources are usually used as a place to direct another participant of the space for a finite piece of information. For example, a person who wanted to know if a certain server (or realm in the parlance of WoW) was available to play might be directed to Blizzard’s official WoW webpage1 that offers a list of which servers are up, i.e., available to play on, and which are down, i.e., undergoing maintenance. The website is not interactive; it is not a place the community can post questions. It is simply an outlet for information from Blizzard to WoW players. A major issue with the website being non-interactive is that it does not have the same...

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