Teaching techniques for computer-mediated communication
Morten Flate Paulsen, The Pennsylvania State University, United States
The Pennsylvania State University . Awarded
This study identifies about 25 teaching techniques that have been used in computer-mediated communication (CMC) and analyzes the teachers' perceptions of teacher workload, student learning outcome, and recommendability. The research is conducted by literature reviews, a web questionnaire, e-mail interviews, and assignment analyses. The questionnaire yielded 150 responses from online teachers in 30 countries. About 40 interviews, primarily with teachers who highly recommended the actual techniques, were conducted and followed up with analyses of course assignments that the teachers made available via web or e-mail.
The work is done within a theoretical framework for CMC-based teaching systems and their environments. The teaching system focuses on teachers, learners, course contents, learning resources, teaching methods, teaching techniques, and teaching devices. The system environment is discussed with regard to administrative constraints, demands, and choices. Special attention is given to choices regarding target groups, subject nature, enrollment scale, study location, communication mode, scheduling, and use of media.
The framework has been applied to organize the literature review of teaching techniques and functions. An initial review of techniques described in adult education literature is followed by a comprehensive review of techniques applied in CMC courses. These techniques are organized as one-online, one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to many techniques. Further, organizational, social, intellectual, and assessment functions for teachers are discussed and recommended facilitation techniques presented.
The typical surveyed CMC teacher is a male in his forties with relatively little experience in CMC teaching. Further, nearly half of the teachers characterize themselves as key person. They teach small scale, higher education, credit courses, via standard Internet applications. The typical course is about computer and information sciences or about educational use of information technology, but a broad range of other subjects is available. It has asynchronous communication, fixed start date, and more than half of both course content and communication is provided via CMC. Individual pacing is used about as much as fixed pacing. Finally, the general perception found in the survey is that the techniques have high learning outcome, high recommendability, and high workload. The perception of workload varies, however, considerably with technique and context.
Paulsen, M.F. Teaching techniques for computer-mediated communication. Ph.D. thesis, The Pennsylvania State University.
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