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Who am I?
Rather than get existential, I'll just give you the basics. My name is Andrea Beaudin, and I am a doctoral candidate in Technical Communication and Rhetoric at Texas Tech University. My research interests include multimodality in composition and assessment, usability and UXD, and new media. I confess that the overarching motivation in all of my research is to find ways to foster and enhance literacies, as I believe that through heightened awareness, we—as citizens, as communities, as human beings—can become not simply better educated, but more empowered to affect positive change.
For my dissertation research, I am evaluating the usability of different media for writing feedback/feedforward. My goal is to gain insight into practices and techniques that are most usable (effective, efficient, engaging, error tolerant, and easy to learn) for students.
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While I've had content in this domain for quite a few years, it wasn't until I began my doctoral studies in 2010 that anyone else seemed to notice. As I was reading tomes of material and attending classes, I needed a way to keep information easily available, in a way I that I could edit, access, and search quite easily. It is at this time that I decided to use a CMS (content management system) to begin archiving my notes.
I didn't realize that my site would be as popular as it was--several people, ranging from classmates, friends across the country, and a few wonderful yet complete strangers, told me that they often referred to the site. It wasn't quite SparkNotes for grad students and tech rhet geeks, but a refresher/reminder. I know that the site was helpful to me, and I was more than happy to share my research and work with others.
Unfortunately, in 2012, my web host's security was breached. Although I went through the mandatory password changes, it was too late. I did not realize the extent of the damage until mid-2012, when I found that multiple .htaccess files had been inserted throughout directories in my sites (I have several, ranging from this site, to domains created for class projects, to sites for genealogy and random hobbies). Although I had frequently backed up my databases, a great deal of information was lost. I took down the site for quite a while, and then reinstalled a CMS and am currently transferring files back to the new site (after scanning to make sure that no malicious code is present).
Please understand that this takes quite a while. The original site had close to 500 articles, and about 300 of those articles were notes on texts pertaining to technical communication, rhetoric, comoposition, and new media. As I am still a graduate student, I am rebuilding the site as I need to in preparation for qualifying exams and my dissertation.
Should you have any questions or suggestions, please contact me at andrea dot beaudin at ttu dot edu. (I know that hyperlinking would be easier, but seeing as I recently deleted over 3,000 'fake' user accounts from the site, it's the best way to ensure that a human being wants to contact me, not a bot.)