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Friday, August 10, 2007

CMC Modes for Learning Tasks at a Distance by Trena Paulus

Here is an interesting article, appears in Volume 12, Issue 4 (2007) of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, JCMC.

CMC Modes for Learning Tasks at a Distance
By Trena Paulus

Which communication mode(s) do experienced distance learners choose as they collaborate on tasks, and what do they talk about in each mode? How do the participants choose modes for various aspects of a task, and which phases of knowledge construction are present? In this study, case study and computer-mediated discourse analysis procedures are used to investigate transcripts and individual reflections of 10 small groups of distance learners. The findings reveal that the discussion forum was used significantly more often for conceptual moves and for later phases of the knowledge construction process. Email was used more for social moves, and chat was used more for later phases of knowledge construction. Implications for providing groups with various CMC modes to complete tasks and for advising novice online learners about the affordances of each mode are addressed.

About the Author
Trena Paulus is an assistant professor of in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling at the University of Tennessee where she teaches courses in research methods and collaborative learning. She investigates meaning-making processes in online learning
environments utilizing methods of discourse and narrative analysis.