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ERIC Number: ED407656
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Online Strategies Used in Reading Email Messages.
Tao, Liqing
A study examined the strategic behaviors of email users when they are reading online email messages. Three voluntary subjects (an undergraduate student and 2 graduate students) read a group of 24 email messages collected through a listserv discussion group. The messages were collected over a period of 1 month concentrating on one theme. Subjects were videotaped and computer-tracked for their reading of the messages. Subjects also engaged in a think-aloud protocol and an unstructured interview. Results indicated that (1) users treated email messages as on-going conversation rather than as reading texts; (2) in the on-going conversation, users were aware of social information available of their "interlocutors" in the email message headings; (3) some salient features of email messages were checked out by some users; (4) skipping and skimming through messages were both verbally indicated by the users and recorded in the computer-tracking data; (5) lack of coherence of the message group did not seem to bother the users; and (6) although users had more than 3 years of email experience, differences in their use of strategies reading online email messages were visible. Findings suggest that subjects used a wide range of strategies and some of them were only meaningful in an email context. Further research could use more authentic situations, explore the teacher's role in facilitating on-going conversations, and control other possible factors such as reader difference, interest and prior knowledge, and task priorities. (Contains 54 references. A keyboard strokes chart is attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A