ERIC Number: ED422864
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998
Interpersonal Group Dynamics and Development in Computer Conferencing: The Rest of the Story.
This study examined group dynamics and development of a graduate-level, computer-mediated course taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison using the FirstClass software; emphasis was on the interpersonal nature of interactions and what they tell of group development in a computer-conference course. After 2 weeks of getting acquainted with the system and each other online through discussion of course content, the class of 19 students was divided into three groups each with their own area for discussions. Each week students were to read and comment on a reading assignment and participate in the ensuing discussion. Transcripts were analyzed within and across groups over time using a coding scheme based on a typology of interpersonal needs and a content analysis model for dimensions of the learning process. Results are discussed for the following objectives: (1) to describe the level (quantity) of participation, intended audience (individual vs. group) and the relationship among and between messages; (2) to identify and describe the functions of the interactions (cognitive, metacognitive, social, organizational) and determine if the pattern of those functions changed; (3) to identify and describe the characteristics and patterns of interpersonal interactions in computer conferencing; and (4) to determine patterns of group development based on interpersonal needs. (Contains 10 references.) (AEF)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Distance Learning '98. Proceedings of the Annual Conference on Distance Teaching & Learning (14th, Madison, WI, August 5-7, 1998); see IR 018 976.