ERIC Number: ED359945
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
A Comparison of Mainframe and Personal Computer Based Bulletin Board Systems for Computer-Mediated Communications in Distance Education Courses.
Muzio, Jeanette A.
At the University of Victoria (British Columbia), computer mediated communications have been used since 1988 in the delivery of distance education in the Certificate Program in Computer Based Information Systems. From 1988 to 1990, a university mainframe computer was used as the host for communications, but since 1990, the host has been a personal computer (PC) based electronic bulletin board system (BBS) operated by program staff. These two methods of using computer-mediated communications are compared and contrasted from the perspectives of data communications procedures, technical support required, usage, costs, and reactions of students. BBS usage was analyzed by studying the experiences of 21 students in a version of the course. Experience with the earlier system was described by staff participants. Students found the BBS easy to use and easy to learn. The instructor found it to be a good vehicle for broadcasting information. Help-desk functions were used much less often with the BBS than with the mainframe system, and installation of the system was easy and efficient. While the BBS does not meet every need of the distance education class, it represents an improvement over the mainframe system and will serve until an improved method is developed. (SLD)
Descriptors: Bulletin Boards, College Students, Comparative Analysis, Computer Assisted Instruction, Computer Science Education, Computer Software Evaluation, Distance Education, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Mail Surveys, Microcomputers, Student Attitudes, Technological Advancement, Telecommunications, Telephone Surveys, Universities, Use Studies
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada