Competent Web Dialogues: Text-Based Linking of Thoughts

Competent Web Dialogues: Text-Based Linking of Thoughts

Marianne Döös (Stockholm University, Sweden), Eva R. Fåhræus (Stockholm University, Sweden), Karin Alvemark (Dalarna University, Sweden) and Lena Wihelmson (Stockholm University, Sweden)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-150-6.ch016
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Conducting a dialogue on the Web is a matter of linking thoughts in digital conversations. Dialogue differs from discussion by not being aimed at beating or convincing other participants in the conversation. The present chapter highlights group dialogues as conversations in which people learn with and from each other. Learning dialogues have the potential of developing the learners’ capacities for critical thinking and complex problem solving. The model of dialogue competence is suggested in order to improve the linking of thoughts in web dialogues. The chapter concludes with considerations when developing dialogue-based communication forms for learning purposes and contributes to teachers’ demand for more support in pedagogic and educational issues.
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Digital technology has led us into new forms of conversation, and in some digital exchanges the similarity is so great that it has become natural to say that we are talking, even though we are actually writing. People have very different images of what communicating on the web and at a distance implies. There are great variations of experience and competence. For example, there are generation differences and different kinds of software as well as different degrees of digital skill. The lack of common images, i.e. similar understanding of what digital conversations can be, is an important basic precondition which will have to be taken into consideration for many more years to come.

Web-based learning is arranged in university educations world wide, in the US (Finkelstein, 2006), in Turkey (Yuzer, 2007), Sweden (Fåhræus, 2003), Italy (Francescato et al, 2007) and China (Ng, 2007), to mention a few. Many are also the contributions aiming at improving and making sense of these learning situations, and in that endeavour several aspects come to the fore. Some researchers investigate broad collaborative aspects (Francescato et al., 2007; Fåhræus, 2003) and student participation (Hrastinski, 2006a). Others problematise more specific issues like e-learners experiences of time and the connection between participants’ time management and their use of certain metaphors (Allan, 2007), or eye-contact as an example of the important non-verbal communication (Finkelstein, 2007; Yuzer, 2007).

Conducting a dialogue on the web is a matter of linking thoughts in digital conversations (Fåhræus & Döös, 2007). Contacts and conversations via the computer are growing in volume. With technology development people are successively changing their understanding of what this kind of conversation is, and of its possibilities and difficulties. When conversing with others via the computer we are moving in the border zone between solitude and company, being simultaneously present and non-present. In order to achieve learning qualities in these digital conversations, the interlocutors need to wise up on the digital interchange of thoughts as a communication form.

The present chapter is intended to contribute in that direction, essentially by borrowing knowledge concerning group dialogues and dialogue competence in real face-to-face situations (f2f), i.e. where a group of people sit in the same room talking to one another. This knowledge is applied to written web-learning conversations, where mainly electronic conferencing systems (e.g. FirstClass) are used. Thus, the focus of attention is on the learning dialogue in connection with the text-based, asynchronous meeting, and in particular on digital group conversations in connection with courses, training programmes and university education. Often, though not always, these conversations are conducted with an element of examination or with a stipulation of presence and activity. Above all, though, they are meant to be good learning conversations, i.e. conversations in which people learn with and from each other. The chapter concludes with considerations when developing dialogue-based communication forms for learning purposes and thus contributes to teachers’ demand for more support in pedagogic and educational issues, than in support of technical kind (Sällström, 2005). Briefly, the possibilities for synchronous digital dialogues brought about by technological development are also touched upon.

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Table of Contents
Chapter 1
Mara H. Washburn
Many Western nations face a critical shortage of skilled professionals in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). However, despite... Sample PDF
Media and Women in Technology
Chapter 2
David Gefen, Nitza Geri, Narasimha Paravastu
Threaded discussions are one of the central tools of online education. These tools enhance student learning and compensate for the lack of social... Sample PDF
The Gender Communication Gap in Online Threaded Discussions
Chapter 3
Princely Ifinedo
In this study, we investigate the influence of two external influences i.e., Ease of finding and Computer anxiety on the technology acceptance model... Sample PDF
The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and the Continuance Intention
Chapter 4
Thanakorn Wangpipatwong
In this article, the study of how a constructivist e-learning system affects students’ learning outcomes was explored and a two-phase study was... Sample PDF
The Influence of Constructivist E-Learning System on Student Learning Outcomes
Chapter 5
Andreas Wiesner-Steiner, Heike Wiesner, Heidi Schelhowe, Petra Luck
This article presents substantial results from two projects that deal with teaching and learning with digital media in basic and higher education... Sample PDF
The Didactical Agency of Information Communication Technologies for Enhanced Education and Learning
Chapter 6
Daniel J. Shelley
E-learning and e-pedagogy continues to grow in importance in the delivery of higher education, due in part to the cost of higher education, a... Sample PDF
Comparative Analyses of Online and Traditional Undergraduate Business Law Classes: How Effective is E-Pedagogy?
Chapter 7
Ido Millet
Data Flow Diagrams and Use Cases are two popular methodologies in teaching as well as in practice. For the last 4 years, we have been using both... Sample PDF
Student Perceptions of Data Flow Diagrams vs. Use Cases
Chapter 8
Hong Lin
Agent-oriented design has become one of the most active areas in the field of software engineering. The agent concept provides a focal point for... Sample PDF
Promoting Undergraduate Education with Agent Based Laboratory
Chapter 9
Tony Jewels, Rozz Albon
For optimum workplace effectiveness in knowledge-intensive industries in which principles of knowledge management need to be applied, it is... Sample PDF
Supporting Arguments for Including the Teaching of Team Competency Principles in Higher Education
Chapter 10
Lawrence Tomei
This article helps classroom teachers create an “Interactive Lesson,” a self-paced, student-controlled, individualized learning opportunity embedded... Sample PDF
Creating an Interactive PowerPoint Lesson for the Lesson
Chapter 11
Chris Thompson, Zane L. Berge
This chapter briefly profiles three virtual schools, each at a different stage of development, yet each dependent upon a successful and sustained... Sample PDF
Planning Staff Training for Virtual High Schools
Chapter 12
MarySue Cicciarelli
Research shows that training prospective online instructors in an online learning environment is advantageous. One effective training topic is on... Sample PDF
Training Prospective Online Instructors: Theories Utilized by Current Online Instructors
Chapter 13
Michael Fedisson, Silvia Braidic
Seventh grade students were tested on their knowledge of sentences and nouns in a language arts classroom. This study was conducted over a two-year... Sample PDF
The Impact of PowerPoint Presentations on Student Achievement and Student Attitudes
Chapter 14
Henry H. Emurian
Information systems students in a graduate section and an undergraduate section of an introductory Java graphical user interface course completed... Sample PDF
Teaching Java™: Managing Instructional Tactics to Optimize Student Learning
Chapter 15
John DiMarco
This research project investigated the existence of web portfolios on academic websites in New York State. It cites disappointing results when... Sample PDF
Toward an Increase in Student Web Portfolios in New York Colleges and Universities
Chapter 16
Marianne Döös, Eva R Fåhræus, Karin Alvemark, Lena Wihelmson
Conducting a dialogue on the Web is a matter of linking thoughts in digital conversations. Dialogue differs from discussion by not being aimed at... Sample PDF
Competent Web Dialogues: Text-Based Linking of Thoughts
Chapter 17
Jeffrey Hsu
A number of new communications technologies have emerged in recent years which were originally used primarily for personal and recreational... Sample PDF
Employing Interactive Technologies for Education and Learning: Learning-Oriented
Chapter 18
Matthew Shaul
As a socially constructive learning tool, discussion forums remain central to online education. They have continued to evolve in functionality... Sample PDF
Assessing Online Discussion Forum Participation
Chapter 19
Solomon Negash, Michelle Emerson, John Vandegrieft
An empirical analysis was conducted to compare synchronous hybrid e-Learning environment with traditional classrooms. Empirical study with 165... Sample PDF
Synchronous Hybrid E-Learning: Empirical Comparison with Asynchronous and Traditional Classrooms
Chapter 20
Diane Hui, Donna L. Russell
Effectiveness of professional development is affected by the quality of social interaction. This study examines how online collaborative dialogues... Sample PDF
Understanding the Effectiveness of Collaborative Activity in Online Professional Development with Innovative Educators through Intersubjectivity
Chapter 21
Silvia Braidic
Teaching is a complex activity that involves careful preparation, delivery and reflection. As an educator, it is essential to create a sense of... Sample PDF
Effective Questioning to Facilitate Dynamic Online Learning
Chapter 22
Cindy S. York
This article briefly reviews two important goals in online education: interaction and presence. These are important goals in online education... Sample PDF
Transitioning from Face-to-Face to Online Instruction: How to Increase Presence and Cognitive/Social Interaction in an Online Information Security Risk Assessment Class
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