Seek Psyc/Soc Info on CMC use for rehab
Mon, 06 Feb 1995 10:07:29 -0500 (EST)

I'm Steve Hueners of Virtual Online University where I work with
the Student Services Center. VOU is a university that delivers
instruction via a MOO (multi-user object oriented demension) on the
Internet. Because this is a relatively new form of Distance Education
delivery we are seeking to expand our knowledge of the
psychological and sociological impacts that MOOs have on users.

Briefly stated, a MOO is a Multi-user, network-wide accessable,
means of connecting - real-time - users into our, educational

Because students are known only to each other solely by means of
the transmission of text, a MOO offers some very exciting, if under-
explored, methods of social interaction. Specifically, many of our
students are of a population segment that has been called
'disenfranchised' -- people who have limited access to higher
education because of travel restrictions, family and job obligations,
people on federal funding, rehab centers and people in prisons.

Intuitively, we feel that the anonymous nature of the social
interaction found on MUDs/MOOs represent very powerful
alternatives for people to explore and partake of different, more
positive social roles and models -- enabling them to receive much
more from us than college credits.

We'd like to test that intuition against more objective knowledge that
may be available to social science professionals. We're seeking
references and any literature that exists on the social use of
MUDs/MOOs or Computer Mediated Communication and, more
importantly, seek feedback from professionals who have an
awareness of what MUDs/MOOs are (or would like to learn more)
who can give us some ideas as we develop our programs.

I'm posting this to several social sciences-related lists and apologize
to folks get multible copies of this. I'm more than happy to answer
any additional questions anyone has ... either on-list or by private e-

many thanks