Cases on Online Discussion and Interaction: Experiences and Outcomes

Cases on Online Discussion and Interaction: Experiences and Outcomes

Leonard Shedletsky (University of Southern Maine, USA) and Joan E. Aitken (Park University, USA)
Indexed In: SCOPUS
Release Date: June, 2010|Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 440|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-863-0
ISBN13: 9781615208630|ISBN10: 1615208631|EISBN13: 9781615208647|ISBN13 Softcover: 9781616923266
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Discussion, whether in online or face-to-face environments, is central to attaining and disseminating information.

Cases on Online Discussion and Interaction: Experiences and Outcomes contains examples of online discussions in a variety of contexts and for a variety of purposes, allowing readers to understand what is likely to facilitate discussion online, what is likely to encourage collaborative meaning-making, what is likely to encourage productive, supportive, engaged discussion, and what is likely to foster critical thinking. This book assembles cases that address an array of research methods, online communication media, forms of expression, communication contexts, and philosophical perspectives.

Topics Covered

The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Blogs and wikis
  • Communication interfaces
  • Conversational structure
  • Discourse Analysis
  • Electronic biographies
  • Online communication courses
  • Online consultation forums
  • Social dialogue
  • Social Presence

Table of Contents and List of Contributors

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Author(s)/Editor(s) Biography

is Professor of Communication at The University of Southern Maine. He is the author of Meaning and Mind: An Intrapersonal Approach to Human Communication (1989), Human Communication on the Internet (2004, with Joan Aitken), co-editor of Intrapersonal Communication Processes (1995), as well as numerous articles and chapters. He wrote the entry, "Cognition," for the International Encyclopedia of Communication, 2008. He has been teaching since 1974. He teaches a range of courses in communication with cognition, discourse and meaning as underlying themes. He developed and taught the course "Intergenerational Communication and the Internet," in which college students mentored older adults in Internet use. He was named The Russell Chair, 2009 - 2011 in Philosophy and Education for a two-year period. The distinction carries the responsibility of presenting one or more public lectures on issues in education and/or philosophy during each of the two years. He was awarded recognition for STELLAR scholarship and teaching, University of Southern Maine (USM) 2003 and 2007. He has received a Center for Technology-Enhanced Learning Development Grant at USM (2007) to develop the course, Research Methods, for online delivery. In 2009 he received a Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant to expand the online capacity for his department to deliver the major in communication and media studies. His resume is available at: His current research interest explores discussion online versus in the classroom. He is trying to find out what facilitates active and high quality discussion in education.
Joan E. Aitken is Professor, Arts and Communication, Park University. She has a B.A. in Communication Theory from Michigan State University, an M.A. in Special Education from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and an M.A. and Ed.D. in Communication and Administration from the University of Arkansas. She joined the Park faculty in 2005, after teaching at the University of Missouri, University of Louisiana, and University of Arkansas.

Aitken’s emphasis in scholarship has been computer-mediated communication and communication education. She has authored eight books, which include the following:

    • Interpersonal Concepts and Competences, by Berko, Aitken, and Wolvin. (2010). Rowman & Littlefield Press.
    • Cases on Online Discussion and Interaction, by Shedletsky and Aitken. (2010). IGI Global Press.
    • Human Communication on the Internet, by Shedletsky and Aitken. (2004). Boston: Allyn & Bacon/Longman.

Aitken has authored five instructor’s manuals (three in the second edition or later), provided Web development for four publishers, and published 50 articles and reports. Aitken was editor of the National Communication Association’s The Communication Teacher and served on the editorial board of NCA’s Communication Education. She has obtained $3.5 million in competitive grant funding, including $1.5 million as the primary grant writer and others as a collaborative team member. Aitken has worked internationally in Jamaica and the People’s Republic of China.