Authentic experiences encourage the student to cognitively engage the content by actively trying to make sense and to integrate the experience. This chapter describes a range of currently available and emerging mediated communication technologies for supporting both didactic and constructivist approaches to language acquisition. Even though CMC has several unique characteristics that make it suitable for designing authentic instructional experiences but as the research indicates, using CMC effectively requires careful consideration of the intended discourse goals. Through collaborative discourse, student and teacher engage the content and incorporate it into their cognitive repertoire. These activities are discursive in nature, writing, verbal interaction, and presentation. Consequently, this chapter discusses how to effectively choose the CMC software most effective for epistemic engagement.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Wiki Wiki: Gives users the ability to easily edit a Web page. What emerged was a form of multi-user collaboration.
Epistemic Engagement: A form of instructional delivery that engages practices both within the structure of a domain and within a disciplinary community
Blog: A personal publishing application where users can post text on the Internet.
Forums: Forums, threaded-discussions, or bulletin boards are forms of asynchronous conversational interaction. It is marked by short, frequent exchanges.
Epistemic Discourse: Epistemic discourse creates meaning and understanding through the discourse process of describing, explaining, predicting, arguing, evaluating, explicating, and defining
Chat: Allows individuals to engage in synchronous interaction with other individuals or groups.
CMC: Computer-mediated communication is software that supports text-based interaction through network computers.
Authentic Assignment: An authentic assignment has internal coherence with previous assignments. They may also be naturalistic in which students explore real-world problems and situations.
E-Mail: A networked application that is designed to exchange messages between individuals.