Tutorial chat: a case study of synchronous communication in a learning environment

Rutter, M. (2006). Tutorial chat: a case study of synchronous communication in a learning environment. ALT-J, 14, (2), 169.


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Abstract

This case study describes the use of a web-based synchronous chat application, run during computing
tutorials. The chat room was moderated by a paid demonstrator, who assisted and encouraged
students whenever possible. Most of the discussion was banter, which acted as a lubricant for relevant
factual communication. Students were permitted a degree of anonymity, but nevertheless
learned to treat the facility in a useful manner. The application and its mode of employment were
found to be both motivating and supportive. Use was evaluated by questionnaire and an analysis of
student input. As a result of the experience, it is suggested that abuse will certainly occur and may
be minimised by technical improvements, but never eliminated. The Rogerian approach adopted
was found to have transferred emphasis from teaching a topic to the learning of generic skills.
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Authors

Malcolm Rutter
Lecturer
m.rutter@napier.ac.uk
+44 131 455 2712

Areas of Expertise

Interaction Design
Interaction Design is concerned with the design of interactive objects and spaces and with the delivery of high quality user experiences (UX). For example, expressive interaction describes the range of new forms of human-computer interaction that are made available through technologies based on...

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