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Title:Factors affecting implementation of interactive, computer-mediated instructional techniques for instructors and learners at a distance
Author(s):Bielema, Cheryl L.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Leach, James A.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Adult and Continuing
Education, Technology of
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Abstract:In the field of education, it is now generally accepted that distance education differs contextually from face-to-face instruction. The instruction is delivered by technology that often limits the form, frequency and immediacy of messages (Garrison, 1989). Interactivity (active involvement of the learner with content, instructor, and fellow learners) is one concept touted in the literature to help re-integrate the teaching and learning acts. Computer-mediated communication has the potential to increase interactivity.
The purpose of the study was to enhance understanding of the factors and processes affecting the planning and implementing of computer-mediated instructional (CMI) techniques in the distance learning environment. Specifically, the following research questions guided the study: (a) What personal barriers are encountered when implementing CMI? (b) What institutional barriers are encountered? (c) What technical barriers are encountered? and, (d) What benefits accrue to the participants, as a result of implementation of computer-mediated communications?
Participants were the instructors and 48 adult, extramural graduate students enrolled in two distance courses taught via audiographics. Data were generated from three sources: interviews with selected students, professors, electronic consultants, and Extramural Program Directors. Observations and group interviews were conducted at each of the remote learning sites. Documents, (e.g., e-mail and postings to the newsgroup and mailing list, and a survey of equipment and Internet access), comprised the third source of data.
Efforts related to planning the needed electronic infrastructure and the course design, and efforts related to implementation of computer-mediated communication are described in the qualitative study. Human-assisted data mining was the process used for manipulating data from the archived electronic postings. Recommendations include instructional design for the CMC context, activating self-directed learning, providing feedback, and developing collaborative electronic projects. Institutional policy or procedural changes were recommended, including support for adding CMC to future distance courses; instituting a help desk early in the semester; and, providing orientation and software guides. Experimentation with various scenarios of connectivity options was suggested. Further research was indicated in student learning preferences and styles, and in delineation of the steps in the process of filtering information via electronic media. The paradigm of shared responsibility for learning was supported.
Issue Date:1996
Rights Information:Copyright 1996 Bielema, Cheryl L.
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9712201
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9712201

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