The virtual community of an online classroom : participant interactions in a community college writing class delivered by computer-mediated communication (CMC) Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/nc580q58s

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  • This qualitative study describes and interprets the interactions of participants in a community college writing class delivered by computer-mediated communication (CMC). The class represented a best practice model of learner-centered instruction in a CMC class. The description and the discussion are framed by five aspects of CMC instruction: (1) context; (2) technology; (3) communication; (4) learning; and (5) community. Offered via a computer bulletin board system (BBS), the class was an ongoing asynchronous electronic meeting. The participants actively accessed the class to interact and collaborate at all hours of the day and night and on almost every day of the term. The relational communication style adopted by the students reflected the formality, immediacy, and social presence of the instructor. Expressing the tone of friendly letters, most of the messages combined salutations, personal or social content, task-oriented content, closing comments and signatures. The mix of assignments and activities required students to act and interact individually, collaboratively and cooperatively. The students accepted the responsibility for interaction and initiated a majority of the messages. The instructor's communications were predominately responsive, facilitative, and coaching type messages. Assignments and activities that required interaction and information sharing stimulated the development of a sense of community for participants. The qualitative analysis and interpretation of the data generated two hypotheses: Hypothesis One Four elements of CMC instruction have critical impact on student participation, satisfaction, learning, and achievement: (1) the functionality and operational transparency of the technology; (2) the course design; (3) the instructor's attitude, style and expertise; and (4) the students autonomous choices about participation, interaction, and cooperation. Hypothesis Two In CMC instruction student participation, satisfaction, learning, and achievement are positively impacted when: (1) the technology is transparent and functions both reliably and conveniently; or (2) the course is specifically designed to take advantage of the CMC characteristics of time/place independence and interactivity to support learner-centered instructional strategies; or (3) the instructor's style is collegial and he/she operates as facilitator, model and coach; or (4) there is a reasonable level of flexibility to accommodate the autonomous choices students make about interaction and collaboration.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2012-10-16T17:26:23Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 JohansonTerriL1996.pdf: 8880884 bytes, checksum: 29d8940da4bbc9967db633fed9646280 (MD5)

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