Online Discourse: Encouraging Active Student Participation in Large Classes

Online Discourse: Encouraging Active Student Participation in Large Classes

S. Jones (RMIT, Australia)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-328-9.ch005
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Abstract

This chapter explores how information and communications technology (ICT) can be designed to maximize human computer interactions (HCI) in order to create a student-centered learning environment within large classes by enabling small-group discourse. Through an empirical case study of student participation through computer-mediated-communication the chapter demonstrates how the flexibility created in the online environment enables students in large classes, particularly students from non-English speaking backgrounds, to participate at a pace that enables them to contribute considered opinions to a small-group discourse. The case study reiterates the argument that HCI is best achieved when ICTs and face-to-face classes are combined. It is argued that in so doing HCI assists the higher education environment to both meet the demands for mass-market, consumer-driven, globally accessible higher educational, as well as addressing industry demand for graduates with advanced problem-solving and analytical and reflective skills who are able to work collaboratively in teams.

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