ERIC Number: ED382951
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Ethos, Ethnicity, and the Electronic Classroom: A Study in Contrasting Educational Environments.
To maximize the level of comfort that will facilitate an equal exchange of ideas instructors need to tailor their pedagogy to fit their audience. That means they must consider the extent to which their students have been exposed to computers. The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) has a high percentage of "non-traditional" students. Students in composition classes taught there bring a great deal of real world experience, but that real world experience does not necessarily include computer exposure. Consequently, a computer-centered pedagogy requires special attention to factors such as different degrees of experience, technophobia, and outside-of-the-classroom access to computers, in order to understand the ways they impinge on academic performance and self-image of students in the classroom. An informal survey of students in a composition course showed that of the minority students, only 25% owned a computer and all of these considered themselves to be middle-class. Of the 75% who did not own a computer, about half considered themselves lower-income and the rest were lower middle and middle class. Still, the benefits of computer assisted instruction are great. Computers are especially useful in challenging students to examine their positions on sensitive or controversial social issues. Students often prefer electronically based discussions because they suspend the social dynamics of interpersonal communication, such as eye contact, shyness, and body language. (TB)
Descriptors: Computer Assisted Instruction, Computer Attitudes, Computer Uses in Education, Cultural Differences, Economically Disadvantaged, Equal Education, Higher Education, Low Income, Minority Groups, Multicultural Education, Nontraditional Students, Socioeconomic Status, Technological Advancement, Writing (Composition), Writing Instruction
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: University of Houston TX
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (46th, Washington, DC, March 23-25, 1995).