ERIC Number: ED395579
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994
Reference Count: N/A
Argumentation through Computer Conferencing in an Academic Context.
This paper describes a computer conferencing experiment carried out at the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland. The conference provided the students an interactive learning environment appropriate for practicing argumentation and developing their argumentation skills. Participants were 31 undergraduate students. Two tutors, who were top students in the field of education near their graduation, were also recruited for the experiment. Two research questions focused on the students' and tutors' attitudes toward the computer conferencing interactions and computer conferencing as a study method. Four computer conference groups were established: two engaged in the seminar mode and two in the discussion mode of conferencing. The software used was an ordinary electronic mail (Elm) for Unix including a text editor called Emacs. The conference discussions were related to the topics addressed in two set books and the course lectures. A questionnaire was distributed to the students after the course. Both students and tutors found the conference interaction to be constructive and beneficial and a majority of the students found the group discussion to be an effective and motivating mode of study. The discussions were found to be relevant for practicing argumentation. The results reflect the suitability of computer conferencing for higher education. Six tables present students' perceptions of the computer conferencing and the advantages and disadvantages of computer conferencing. (Contains 21 references.) (AEF)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: University of Jyvaskyla (Finland)
Note: Paper presented at the International Conference on Distance Education in Russia, ICDED'94 (1st, Moscow, Russia, July 5-8, 1994).