Computer-mediated communication in distance MA programmes: the student's perspective
Paran, A., Furneaux, C. and Sumner, N. (2004) Computer-mediated communication in distance MA programmes: the student's perspective. System, 32 (3). pp. 337-355. ISSN 0346-251X
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.system.2004.02.007
This paper reports on a study of computer-mediated communication within the context of a distance MA in TEFL programme which used an e-mail discussion list and then a discussion board. The study focused on the computer/Internet access and skills of the target population and their CMC needs and wants. Data were collected from 63 questionnaires and 6 in-depth interviews with students. Findings indicate that computer use and access to the Internet are widespread within the target population. In addition, most respondents indicated some competence in Internet use. No single factor emerged as an overriding inhibiting factor for lack of personal use. There was limited use of the CMC tools provided on the course for student–student interaction, mainly attributable to time constraints. However, most respondents said that they would like more CMC interaction with tutors. The main factor which would contribute to greater Internet use was training. The paper concludes with recommendations and suggestions for learner training in this area.