Communicating for the purpose of learning in the online environment: an analysis of student-initiated communicative acts in UWIDEC's blended learning pilot project
University of the West Indies Distance Education Centre (UWIDEC)
Last modified: October 16, 2006
Presentation date: 10/31/2006 4:00 PM in ST Windsor A
In September, 2005, the University of the West Indies Distance Education Centre (UWIDEC) initiated a project to transform its delivery mode and adopt a blended learning approach that placed greater emphasis on asynchronous modes of communication and interaction. Previously, interpersonal communication was primarily synchronous and took place through face-to-face tutorials and audio-conferencing. The blended learning approach as implemented by UWIDEC, entails a substantial shift away from these synchronous modes towards asynchronous communication utilizing a web-based learning management system.
In recognition of the important role that communication and interaction play in the learning of the online and distance student, and also being aware that the shift described above, entails a reduction in the use of oral communication, this paper examines the communicative acts of UWIDEC learners in the new web-based environment with a view to identifying and analyzing the skills, behaviours and attitudes that they display in the new learning space.
The analysis is conducted within the framework of relevant perspectives on interaction, social presence and the online learning community.