Moderating Discussion Groups Using Computer Mediated Communication

Moderating Discussion Groups Using Computer Mediated Communication

Mauri Collins (University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA) and Zane Berge (University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-863-5.ch044
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Abstract

In this chapter online discussion groups will be situated as contemporary examples within the historical tradition of voluntary, informal, learning networks used by adults for topical discussion, fellowship, and learning. Just as the online discussion group is a voluntary, informal learning group in the historic tradition, so the monitor or reviewer of the online discussion group fulfills many of the roles, tasks, and responsibilities of an informal adult educator in their roles as discussion leaders and facilitators. This places the moderators of online discussion groups within the realm of interest to adult education and educators. This chapter will provide the foundations for understanding the complex, dynamic, and multi-textural environment in which online discussion group moderators function.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Online Community: A community of people sharing common interests, ideas, and feelings over the Internet or other collaborative networks.

Online Community: A community of people sharing common interests, ideas, and feelings over the Internet or other collaborative networks.

Moderator: A person or persons who approve posts sent to an online discussion group prior to their distribution.

Adult Education: As used in this chapter, refers to both formal and informal learning activities undertaken by, and designed for, those beyond the age of traditional university students.

Moderator: A person or persons who approve posts sent to an online discussion group prior to their distribution.

Monitor: A person who may also perform the technical and administrative duties of a list owner. The monitor may also participate, as a peer, in the day-to-day discussion, perhaps by interjecting comments that may serve to stimulate, regulate or redirect the course of the list discussion, and to remind participants of agreed-upon communication conventions. They may admonish offenders publicly or privately, but do so after the fact.

Listowner/Administrator: A technical term to refer to the individual who is responsible for the administrative and technical maintenance of the discussion list or as an indication of their minimal level of involvement in the public, day-to-day affairs of the group.

Monitor: A person who may also perform the technical and administrative duties of a list owner. The monitor may also participate, as a peer, in the day-to-day discussion, perhaps by interjecting comments that may serve to stimulate, regulate or redirect the course of the list discussion, and to remind participants of agreed-upon communication conventions. They may admonish offenders publicly or privately, but do so after the fact.

Public Electronic Discussion Group: An electronic interest group, based in a listserver computer, to which one can subscribe. Subscribers can send messages (posts) to the “list” and receive all postings sent to it. This can occur in real time, or, in the case of moderated lists, messages are approved by a moderator before being sent to the list.

Informal Learning: Learning that takes place in venues outside of formal classroom settings, for example, work and home settings.

Informal Learning: Learning that takes place in venues outside of formal classroom settings, for example, work and home settings.

Adult Education: As used in this chapter, refers to both formal and informal learning activities undertaken by, and designed for, those beyond the age of traditional university students.

Public Electronic Discussion Group: An electronic interest group, based in a listserver computer, to which one can subscribe. Subscribers can send messages (posts) to the “list” and receive all postings sent to it. This can occur in real time, or, in the case of moderated lists, messages are approved by a moderator before being sent to the list.

Listowner/Administrator: A technical term to refer to the individual who is responsible for the administrative and technical maintenance of the discussion list or as an indication of their minimal level of involvement in the public, day-to-day affairs of the group.

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