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ERIC Number: EJ840293
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 5
ISSN: ISSN-1552-3233
When the Medium Illustrates the Content: Exploiting the Unique Features of Online Communication
Foertsch, Julie; Gernsbacher, Morton Ann
Innovate: Journal of Online Education, v4 n3 Feb-Mar 2008
Julie Foertsch and Morton Ann Gernsbacher present the results of an evaluation of an online undergraduate course in psychology that adheres to the seven widely accepted principles of effective online teaching and suggests an eighth principle: using the unique benefits and constraints of online communication to prompt critical thinking about various facets of human communication, psychology, sociology, or human-computer interface design. Formative evaluation of this new course, carried out by Foertsch over three semesters, showed that it benefited from an illuminating association between its content--the cognitive and social experiences of people with autism--and its online delivery method, in which students communicated with each other and the professor in asynchronous and synchronous forums that removed the nonverbal social cues present in face-to-face communication. By applying the seven principles to the design of this course, Gernsbacher created a learning environment that 87% of 105 upper-division students rated as "extremely" or "very" useful in developing their critical thinking skills and a course that a number of students described as one of the best they had ever taken. (Contains 3 exhibits and 3 tables.)
Fischler School of Education and Human Services. Nova Southeastern University, 1750 NE 167th Street, North Miami Beach, FL 33162. Tel: 800-986-3223; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin