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Research to Practice Online: Conditions That Foster Democracy, Community, and Critical Thinking in Computer-Mediated Discussions
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Journal of Research on Technology in Education Volume 36, Number 2, ISSN 1539-1523

Abstract

Although computer-mediated discussions (CMDs) have the potential to be ideal forums for fostering dialogue, research on listservs and in college composition classes has found that the discourse tends to be dominated by a few individuals, often men, and is sometimes abusive. In contrast, results of our study in a teacher education course revealed that both men and women used a range and a mix of discourse strategies. With a few exceptions, both men and women were inclusive, supportive, personalizing, receptive to others' ideas, and attenuating. They were also willing to be critical and to challenge others' assumptions, images, beliefs, and positions, which they usually prefaced with supportive and attenuating remarks. In addition, both men and women were equally likely to mock and exclude those who did not abide by the conventions of the group norms, although such comments were uncommon. Based on our own research and a review of the literature, we discuss what we learned and offer recommendations for instructors around four themes: planning, netiquette, the role of the instructor, and assessment.

Citation

Fauske, J. & Wade, S.E. (2004). Research to Practice Online: Conditions That Foster Democracy, Community, and Critical Thinking in Computer-Mediated Discussions. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 36(2), 137-153. Retrieved November 17, 2019 from .

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