Distinctive Features of Computer-Mediated Bulletin Board Discussions

Peter A. Theodore, Wayne A. Nelson, International Journal of Instructional Technology, Distance Learning, Aug 20, 2004
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Reports on a study of online communications in university courses. "Five distinctive features of the asynchronous discussions were identified as a result of analysis of the discussion transcripts: references to personal experience, interaction, logical argument, multiple perspectives, and the expression of opinion." Consequently, argue the authors, "to take full advantage of this convergence of oral disputation and linear argument on the bulletin board, it is recommended that controversial topics be deliberately introduced into the discussion."
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