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Computer-mediated communication to facilitate seminar participation and active thinking
ERIC Document Reproduction Service (1992)
  • Leonard J Shedletsky, University of Southern Maine

A communications professor decided to teach an undergraduate "theories of communication" seminar course that had been listed but not taught for 12 years or more. The professor asked for advice on how to teach the course by sending an electronic mail message over an information network. The sometimes contradictory advice concerning the proposed textbook (Littlejohn's "Theories of Human Communication") convinced the professor to stick with this challenging text with a philosophical bent. The professor decided to relate issues of theory to what matters to students by using computer mediated communication (CMC) as part of the learning process. Students were provided with computer accounts and instruction in how to send, receive, print, and save electronic mail messages. Even though 20% of the students' final grade was based on a journal of electronic mail, the students did not eagerly embrace CMC. A few weeks before the end of the semester, students responded to a brief questionnaire concerning their use of and attitudes toward CMC. A total of 19 responses were received. Results indicated that: (1) using electronic mail as it was done in this course is likely to produce a fair share of student resistance; (2) access to computer terminals was essential; and (3) most students liked the experience and thought that it facilitated seminar participation. (Data from the questionnaire is included, and a sample electronic mail log is attached.) (RS)

  • Course Organization,
  • Electronic Mail,
  • Higher Education,
  • Instructional Effectiveness,
  • Questionnaires,
  • Seminars,
  • Speech Communication,
  • Student Attitudes,
  • Student Participation,
  • Higher Education
Publication Date
Citation Information
Leonard J Shedletsky. "Computer-mediated communication to facilitate seminar participation and active thinking" ERIC Document Reproduction Service Iss. 347582 (1992)
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