ERIC Number: ED447794
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Reference Count: N/A
A Case Study Describing Student Experiences of Learning in a Context of Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication in a Distance Education Environment.
Sorg, Judith J.; McElhinney, James H.
Based on collaborative learning theories, this qualitative study describes seven adult students' experiences of learning in a context of synchronous computer-mediated communication within a distance education environment. The setting was an 8-week, Internet-based undergraduate/graduate sociology course sponsored by Indiana University Purdue University at Fort Wayne. The primary mode of instruction was text-based, synchronous computer conferencing (online discussions). Course requirements included weekly interaction in the chats among small groups of fellow students and the instructor. Data collection focused on a series of four interviews with each study participant and was supplemented by observations of participants' interactions in the synchronous conferences, learning journal entries, and a reflective journal maintained by the researchers. Analysis of the evidence focused on cognitive and affective responses as study participants learned computer competencies, critical thinking skills, and course concepts. As a result of this study, synchronous computer conferencing was validated as a potentially motivational and effective tool for interactive learning with computer-mediated communication in the distance education environment. (Contains 27 references.) (Author/MES)
Descriptors: Case Studies, College Students, Computer Mediated Communication, Computer Uses in Education, Cooperative Learning, Distance Education, Educational Environment, Educational Technology, Higher Education, Interaction, Internet, Interviews, Learning Theories, Qualitative Research, Sociology
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A