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Computer Conferencing and the On-Line Classroom

, University of Maryland Baltimore County, United States

IJET Volume 3, Number 1, ISSN 1077-9124 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA


The union of telecommunication technologies and computer networks has given us new tools to support teaching and learning. Taken together, these tools can be used for computer-mediated communication (CMC) (Bates, 1995). Santoro (1995) lists three categories of CMC: computer conferencing, informatics, and computer-assisted instruction. Within computer conferencing, he identifies three types: electronic mail (email), group conferencing systems, and interactive messaging systems. The aim of most educators who design the use of computer conferencing environments is "not merely to duplicate the characteristics and effectiveness of the face-to-face class. Rather it is to use the powers of the computer to do better than what normally occurs in the face-to-face class" (Turoff, 1995). This paper summarizes the characteristics and advantages of computer conferencing systems. Following that, some of the more significant characteristics of computer conferencing are linked with corresponding advantages for teaching and learning.


Berge, Z.L. (1997). Computer Conferencing and the On-Line Classroom. International Journal of Educational Telecommunications, 3(1), 3-21. Charlottesville, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved July 12, 2020 from .


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