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The Virtual TA: Communication, Community, Collaborator/Collaboration
PROCEEDINGS

, , Arizona State University, United States

E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education, in Washington, DC, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-54-9 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), San Diego, CA

Abstract

Building an interactive community is essential for the successful online classroom. Students often find writing in an electronic forum intimidating. Others, who reflect before writing, often prefer the electronic discussion to that of the competitive classroom. Some students lack the confidence to assert themselves in public or do not like to write. One strategy for managing the class discussions is through the use of a persona called the Virtual TA. Such an entity functions as a guide for student discussion (and for completing other class activities and assignments). The "TA" answers questions about the lecture or from the text, models assignments (and appropriate e-communication behavior), and can "course correct" when the discussion wanders too far from the productive arena. There is value in having someone other than the instructor do so. The TA also serves as a second opinion, or as someone who can clarify or make a point when the instructor is not available.

Citation

Bercu, W. & Grace, J. (2004). The Virtual TA: Communication, Community, Collaborator/Collaboration. In J. Nall & R. Robson (Eds.), Proceedings of E-Learn 2004--World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education (pp. 1101-1106). Washington, DC, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved November 16, 2019 from .

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