A Vygotskian perspective on electronic bulletin boards: An exploratory study
Rebecca L. Chism, The Florida State University, United States
The Florida State University . Awarded
Technology holds an undisputed role in information access, idea exchange, and global communication. As a result, there has been rapid movement to accommodate the growing interest in computer use in the second and foreign language classroom. The prevalence of these technological advances warrants a careful examination of their inherent benefits and drawbacks as well as their effect on societal relationships.
The present study examined student use of one form of technology, the electronic bulletin board, as a forum for discussion of foreign language literary text. In addition, the present study analyzed the discourse that emerged from the discussion and compared it to face-to-face conversation dynamics. Recall protocols were used to assess the level of comprehension of the literary text attained through the use of the electronic bulletin board for discussion purposes. Also, the present study documented and acknowledged student reaction to the use of this type of computer mediated technology. The study is based in the findings of Lev Vygotsky and sociocultural theory; thus, the qualitative nature of this study focused on the types of discourse and behavior patterns that emerged from the use of the bulletin board. An analysis of the data suggests that the electronic bulletin board can serve as a viable surrogate for face-to-face conversations when such conversations cannot take place. Through this activity, evaluation of the potential of the bulletin board as a pedagogical tool was considered, as were the advantages and disadvantages of this form of computer technology in the second and foreign language classroom.
Chism, R.L. A Vygotskian perspective on electronic bulletin boards: An exploratory study. Ph.D. thesis, The Florida State University.
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