ERIC Number: ED358875
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Critical Thinking about Literature through Computer Networking.
Long, Thomas L.; Pedersen, Christine
A computer-oriented, classroom-based research project was conducted at Thomas Nelson Community College in Hampton, Virginia, to explore the ways in which students in a composition and literature class might use a local area network (LAN) as a catalyst to critical thinking, to construct a decentralized classroom, and to use various forms of discourse. The project focused on 49 freshmen enrolled in spring 1992 in two sections of a college composition course that develops writing skills through reflection on literary texts and culture. Students used interactive computer tutorials to analyze essays, plot, and characterization; and posted their work on the LAN electronic bulletin board for comments by other students and the instructor. Several times during the semester, instructors asked students to generate their own critical questions about the texts being read. Data on student progress were gathered through a writing attitude survey, a computer-assisted instruction attitude survey, and a typology used to rank the degree of complexity of students' questions. Study findings included the following: (1) the use of computers appeared to have less influence on attitudes toward writing than did the instructor assigned to the section; (2) most students reported that the computers were easy to learn; (3) students' questions resisted simple categorization through the typology; and (4) the degree of complexity of the questions did not correlate with final course grades. Recommendations concerning hardware and software, student and teacher preparation, and use of LANs are included. (Contains 15 references.) (PAA)
Descriptors: Classroom Research, Community Colleges, Computer Assisted Instruction, Computer Networks, Computer Uses in Education, Critical Thinking, English Curriculum, Literature, Local Area Networks, Program Evaluation, Student Attitudes, Thinking Skills, Two Year College Students, Two Year Colleges, Writing Attitudes, Writing (Composition), Writing Instruction
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Thomas Nelson Community College VA
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Computer Conference of the League for Innovation in the Community College (9th, Orlando, FL, October 21-24, 1992).