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Meaning Negotiation, Knowledge Construction, and Mentoring in a Distance Learning Course
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Selected Research and Development Presentations at the 1996 National Convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology,

Abstract

This study describes the use of VaxNotes, an electronic conferencing software, in a 16-week graduate distance learning course at a large Midwestern university. The seminar was taught at two campuses, by two instructors, connected by video and audio distance learning technologies. Discussions held outside class were conducted initially by electronic mail (e-mail), later using VaxNotes. The instructor provided guidelines for the student electronic discussion, and participation was worth 25% of the final class grade. Notes were collected from the e-mail and VaxNotes systems, 84 of 408 were contributed by the instructors. Detailed quantitative analysis was conducted on two randomly selected weeks of notes, and coded into participation categories and participant role. Instructors' contributions were also analyzed. In the electronic discussions, students selected topics, determined goals, and shared experiences and understanding with peers. The study reveals a promising way of employing an ordinary communications technology to facilitate students' learning. Further empirical research is recommended to verify the note coding schemes and models of analysis. Further studies to establish practical guidelines for incorporating computer mediated tools into classrooms are also recommended. Includes 11 tables with analyzed data on the electronic notes, and a diagram illustrating the pattern of knowledge construction in the electronic discussion. (Contains 42 references.) (SWC)

Citation

Zhu, E. (1996). Meaning Negotiation, Knowledge Construction, and Mentoring in a Distance Learning Course. Presented at Selected Research and Development Presentations at the 1996 National Convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology 1996. Retrieved January 18, 2020 from .

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