Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC)

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Communication (CMC)
     Anindya Sen
    Any system that enables interpersonal
     communication by means of computers and
    Computer conferencing
    Electronic mail
    Discussion lists
    Bulletin boards
    Virtual classrooms
    Computer-supported cooperative work
  Use of computers to access remotely-
   located databases
  Transmission of text without discussion
   or argument
  Computer-assisted instruction
  Computer-based training
  Same location one-computer
  Voice mail (???)
  Computer-based instruction and some
   computer-mediated discussion
  Remote database access with limited
Characteristics of CMC
  Highly interactive and complex
  Multi-person
  Synchronous
  Asynchronous
Brief History
  CMC precedes CAI
  Bitnet
  Internet
   Academic institutions
   Government/military institutions
   Corporate
   All levels of the educational system
Issues in CMC
  Technologies in flux
  Learning strategies: replicate or
  Technological synergy
  Conflicting theories and philosophies
Theoretical / Philosophical
  Constructivism versus objectivism
  Humanism versus mechanism
  Cognitive versus behavioral
  Social constructivism
  Undominated communication
Status of Current Research
  Mid-1980’s
  Initially anecdotal
  Usage advocacy
  Before … quantitative/positivist
  Now … interpretist/critical theory
Principal Issues Investigated
  General
  Democratizing or elitist ?
  Quality of online information vis-à-vis
   that of printed material
  Social impact on users
  Implementation in distance education
   and conventional courses
  Aspects of software
Principal Issues (Contd.).
  Teaching and learning concerns
  Content and objectives
  Learning strategies and tactics
  Aspects of control
  Effectiveness on learning outcomes
Principal Issues (Contd.).
  Implementation concerns
  Rates of participation
  Attitudes and participation styles
  Implementation and administration
  Staff and support system issues
Methods Used
  Surveys – electronic or conventional
  Direct descriptive research on usage,
   interaction, and transcript information
  Conspicuous absence of qualitative and
   analytical methods and models
Findings to Date
  Problems with equitable access
  Widespread distrust of the quality of
  Social impact on users
  Perception of intellectual impact
  Software-related
Findings to Date (Contd.).
  Teaching / learning concerns
  Implementation concerns
Instruction versus
 Paradigm     Instruction         Conversation

 Objectives   Specific            General
              Predefined          Spontaneous
              Product-driven      Process-driven
              Standard            Variable
 Messages     Designed            Spontaneous
              Instructor-driven   Participant-driven
              One-to-many         Many-to-many
Instruction versus
Conversation (Contd.).
 Paradigm      Instruction            Conversation

 Interaction   Behaviors              Ideas
               Criterion-referenced   Flexible references
               Corrective             Constructive
               One-layer thick        Interwoven layers

 Distance      Correspondence         Virtual classroom
               courses                Teleconferencing
Future Research (4 Levels)
  Policy
  Strategic
  Tactical
  Tool