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"Only Connect"? Complexities in International Student Communication


E-Learning Volume 2, Number 4, ISSN 1741-8887


This article explores the potential and limitations of international educational collaboration using the concept of "connection", a term with different meanings that are sometimes conflated to produce unrealistic expectations of computer-mediated communication (CMC). The authors explore the use on the Internet of the "only connect" quote from "Howard's End", in order to critique technological determinism and advocate an alternative approach that recognises the interpretive flexibility inherent in CMC. In a communication-rich experience such as education, the limitations of CMC are evident, particularly for non-native speakers, but the medium does offer some advantages over face-to-face communication. The authors introduce the notion of "cool webs" to understand some responses to the challenges presented by international student collaboration online, illustrated by examples from the Collaboration Across Borders project. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)


Bell, F. & Zaitseva, E. (2005). "Only Connect"? Complexities in International Student Communication. E-Learning, 2(4), 341-354. Retrieved November 13, 2019 from .

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