ERIC Number: ED177935
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Computer Conferencing: Its Use as a Pedagogical Tool.
Heydinger, Richard B.
Factors in support of computer conferencing and those inhibiting its growth are examined in light of the experiences at the University of Michigan with CONFER (a computer conferencing system) developed at the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching. Computer conferencing is defined and its uses are explored. Among the advantages of computer conferencing are its ability to break down geographic barriers, greater flexibility in courses, and greater communication among students, their peers, and the professor. Computer conferencing is particularly suited to interdisciplinary courses and advanced level graduate seminars where a mix of resources is especially beneficial. Other advantages of computer conferencing are that it facilitates individualized education and offers a potential for enhancing the effectiveness of student advising (allowing several faculty members to participate in the decision-making process simultaneously). Among obstacles to the use of computer conferencing in teaching situations are the reluctance of faculty to try the new form, limited access to terminals, fear of using the computer, and time required to learn how to use the computer. Other factors cited include cost, and the need for security and anonymity. (PHR)
Descriptors: College Instruction, Communications, Computers, Cost Effectiveness, Courses, Faculty Advisers, Graduate Study, Higher Education, Individualized Instruction, Information Networks, Instructional Improvement, Online Systems, State of the Art Reviews, Student Teacher Relationship, Teleconferencing
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: CONFER Computer System; University of Michigan
Note: Paper presented at the World Future Society Education Conference, (Houston, TX, October 20, 1978)