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ERIC Number: EJ853779
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1528-5324
The Importance of Nonverbal Elements in Online Chat
Gajadhar, Joan; Green, John
EDUCAUSE Quarterly, v28 n4 p63-64 2005
Communication is often not so much what people write or say but how they write and often what they do not say. Thus, meaning in real-world chat messages depends not only on the words they use but also on how they express meaning through nonverbal cues. Online chat is simple, direct, and unrestrained. While it contains many of the elements of face-to-face conversation, it differs from ordinary chat in that it is a textual representation of conversation. This article describes a study conducted by the authors at the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand involving a chat group specifically set up for a course in computer concepts. Chat provided a nonthreatening environment to enhance the existing asynchronous forums. The facilitator actively encouraged student networking as an essential part of creating a learning community similar to the real-time student common room. The chat room functioned as a place where students could "meet," ask questions, talk about the course, and generally get to know their classmates. Because of the chat group's voluntary and informal nature, with no incentives for participation, usage numbers fluctuated throughout the 17-week semester. By analyzing student online messages, the authors could determine whether students were using textual elements to express feelings. (Contains 2 tables and 6 endnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand