Archaic Elements of Computer-mediated Communication


  • Kai J. Jonas Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
  • Margarete Boos Georg-August-Universität Göttingen



computer-mediated communication, chat, virtual seminar


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


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Author Biographies

Kai J. Jonas, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

Kai J. JONAS born 1972, Dipl.-Sozialwirt (1998, University of Goettingen), since 1998 pre-doctoral lecturer at the Georg-Elias-Mueller-Institute for Psychology of the University of Goettingen. Studies at the Universitat de València and at the University of California at Irvine. Research Interests: stereotype-development, computer-mediated communication, social networks.

Margarete Boos, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

Margarete BOOS born 1954, a major in social sciences and mathematics at the University of Bonn, since 1995 professor for social psychology and communication studies at the University of Goettingen. Research Interests: computer-mediated communication, small groups, methods of interaction and communication analysis.



How to Cite

Jonas, K. J., & Boos, M. (2000). Archaic Elements of Computer-mediated Communication. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 1(1).