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Pedagogical affordances of computer conferencing systems

Author(s): Fran├žois Mangenot

Journal: STICEF
ISSN 1764-7223

Volume: 15;
Issue: 2008-EPAL;
Start page: 125;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: Computer-Mediated Communication | Ergonomics | Computer Conferencing | Tool Appropriation | Learning Management System | Usage

Considering that the user-interface of a computer conferencing system (forum) affects how students work within this system, this paper analyzes the relationship between tool properties and user activities, based on data taken from several discussion forums in different learning contexts. The underlying topic consists in trying to establish a relationship between technological properties, common ICT-based practices and their related communicative purposes. The theoretical framework and the data corpus are first presented. The paper then discusses two dimensions of forum properties: firstly, their location inside a Learning Management System, particularly the path leading from the assignment to the forum, and secondly the overall messaging structure and file attachment possibilities. The scope is twofold: determining whether some features seem more desirable in certain learning contexts and making a few suggestions for improving forum properties
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