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The Development of Social Climate in Virtual Learning Discussion Groups

  • Avigail Oren
  • David Mioduser
  • Rafi Nachmia

Abstract

As the educational use of computer mediated communication (CMC) increases there is growing interest among researchers as to social processes evolving within the varied models of group work using Internet, e.g., special interest groups, topical discussion groups, discussion forums attached to virtual courses, and learning communities. In this paper we present a synthetic summary of five studies that explored social climate issues in synchronous and asynchronous online activities in academic courses, focusing on the following questions: Does a social atmosphere develop in online learning discussion groups? What are the different modes of social interaction are manifest in online learning discussion groups? What is the role of the virtual teacher with regards to the social climate in online learning discussion groups? Discussed are the implications of these five studies' on the design of virtual-learning-discussion-groups, and the results for the characterization of teacher moderation functions.

Author Biographies

Avigail Oren
Dr. Avigail Oren is an adjunct lecturer in the Tel-Aviv University's School of Education. For many years she has been engaged in the research, development and implementation of ICT in history teaching. Currently her major research areas are learning within virtual learning environments, and integrating ICT in history education. The main focus of her current research is on the learning and social interactions taking place in technology mediated communication. Her courses focus on e-learning concepts, tools and skills, integrating a wide range of synchronic and a-synchronic resources.
David Mioduser
Dr. David Mioduser is a senior lecturer in the Tel-Aviv University's School of Education. Since the early 80s he has been involved in studying learning processes with ICT, and of ICT concepts and skills. He is currently heading the graduate programme on communication and computer technologies in education. His major research areas focus on cognitive and learning processes with ICT, and on cognitive aspects in technology education. In his teaching at TAU he is involved in the development and integration of online resources in the academic instruction. Dr. Mioduser's email address is: miodu@post.tau.ac.il.
Rafi Nachmia
Dr. Rafi Nachmias is a senior lecturer in the Tel-Aviv University's School of Education. Since the early 80s he has been involved in the research of ICT-based learning environments. He is currently heading Virtual TAU, a campus wide implementation project aiming to integrate online instruction in all academic areas. He also heads the Science and Technology Education Center in TAU, and the graduate program in Exact Sciences education. His major research areas are Web-based learning, ICT in education, and integration of ICT in mathematics and science education.
Published
2002-04-01
How to Cite
Oren, A., Mioduser, D., & Nachmia, R. (2002). The Development of Social Climate in Virtual Learning Discussion Groups. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 3(1). https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v3i1.80
Section
Research Articles