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ERIC Number: ED458670
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr
Pages: 8
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Computer Mediated Linguistic Interaction as a Tool for the Social Construction of Knowledge.
Scheffel, Debora L.; Omdal, Stuart; Usrey, Deborah
The increasing use of computer technology in formal educational settings has been simultaneous with the increased acceptance of functional perspectives of knowledge construction and acquisition. The practical need to make formal education cost efficient has resulted in the use of computer technology to render knowledge accessible to students who are distant in time and/or space from traditional educational settings. A study analyzed transcripts excerpted from online threaded discussions to identify language content and usage characteristics reflecting knowledge construction occurring between participants, and consequent inferred cognitive change. Specifically, contingency in discourse may be viewed as one such characteristic. An analysis of numerous transcripts of interactions of students participating in online discussions suggests that contingent language use is occurring and can be a useful index for initial conceptual change. For contingent language to occur, a person must first identify his/her social role or status with other participants in the group. The second step is to use linguistic exchange to constrain word meanings, by using other people's words and then adding personal meanings. These steps can be seen occurring in a transcript which captures an online discussion about where deaf individuals can best receive an education. As each participant adds his/her own understanding of the connotation of these words, the other potentially comes to a richer understanding of the whole issue of residential versus non-residential placement for individuals with hearing differences. Those engaged in education need to better understand whether, how, and to what extent learning is taking place through online technology and how to assess it. (Contains 10 references.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A