The uses and value of Internet discussion groups in a post-secondary environment
Michael Kristopher Barbour, Memorial University of Newfoundland , Canada
Memorial University of Newfoundland . Awarded
This thesis considers computer-mediated communications through a case study of a select group of Usenet newsgroups at Carleton University during the Fall of 1999 and the Winter of 2000. At the time that the data were collected for this thesis, Carleton University was the only post-secondary institution in Canada that utilised an Internet discussion group to support all undergraduate and graduate courses offered by the institution.
Some of the specific areas considered included a content analysis of these Internet discussion groups, the nature of utilisation of these groups, the differences in student usage of these groups based on a variety of instructional approaches, and student impressions of their own usage and the usage of their instructors of these Internet discussion groups.
At the conclusion of this thesis, the researcher was able to determine that there was little student participation in terms of posting messages to the newsgroups at Carleton University. However, the completed student surveys indicated that over half of the students in the class would access the newsgroup on a regular basis. The students who did not access the newsgroups indicated that lack of knowledge about the newsgroup or lack of technical skills were the two main reasons for their lack of usage. Most students felt that the newsgroups were or could be useful tools in their educational experience, if they were used more by instructors and teaching assistants.
Barbour, M.K. The uses and value of Internet discussion groups in a post-secondary environment. Master's thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.
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