Cooperation vs. Deliberation: CMC and the Problem of Argument in International Distance Education

  • Michael Davis
  • Albert Rouzie

Abstract

The idea that Internet-based distance education offers the potential to globalize higher education has not been matched by significant interest in the pedagogical and methodological issues at stake. This essay discusses a two-year experimental course conducted between two college classes in Karlskrona, Sweden and Ohio, in the United States. The goal of this course was to use online debate to augment intercultural understanding. This experiment involved both synchronous and asynchronous computer mediated conferencing (CMC) as well as various types of assignments intended to emphasize the discursive strengths of each CMC form. We discovered, however, that our assumptions about CMC discourse were challenged by the way it developed in our international contexts. Ultimately, we developed and propose a methodology that delimits and makes productive the playful agnostics of synchronous debate by employing asynchronous conferencing for the pre-debate development of common ground and the post-debate development of formal arguments.

Key Terms:
MOO, asynchronous conferencing, international education, collaboration, conflict, argumentation, American studies.

Author Biographies

Michael Davis
Dr. Michael Davis teaches English at Blekinge Institute of Technology in Karlskrona, Sweden. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin in 1996 and has published articles on rhetoric and the use of computers in teaching English. Dr. Davis's email address is: michael.davis@bth.se.
Albert Rouzie
Dr. Albert Rouzie teaches English at the Department of English at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin in 1997 and has published articles on rhetoric and composition, emphasizing computer-assisted learning. Dr. Rouzie's email address is: rouzie@ohiou.edu.
Published
2002-04-01
How to Cite
Davis, M., & Rouzie, A. (2002). Cooperation vs. Deliberation: CMC and the Problem of Argument in International Distance Education. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 3(1). https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v3i1.82
Section
Research Articles