Archaic Elements of Computer-mediated Communication

Kai J. Jonas, Margarete Boos


Virtual seminars as a form of tele-learning are becoming a well-established instructional form within universities and educational offers for adults. The critical gist of many virtual seminar projects are two problem sets, typical for tele-learning applications: low media-competence and low participation rates. During a virtual seminar, based at the University of Goettingen and at the Rensselaer Politechnic Institute, Troy, New York, these phenomena were investigated. Communication media for the seminar were synchronous (chat) as well as asynchronous CMC tools. A clear positive result of media competence training was an overall good achievement and a higher participation rate both in off-topic, casual and in on-topic communication. The focus of the article is on the qualitative analysis of a chat-protocol, revealing a number of critical phenomena which should be considered in the planning and implementation of virtual seminars.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0001278


computer-mediated communication; chat; virtual seminar


Copyright (c) 2000 Kai J. Jonas, Margarete Boos

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