Online Communities: Usability & Sociability

Tonight I finished an article by Jonathan Lazar & Jennifer Preece (2003), which discusses the factors which lead to and possible measures by which to gauge success in online communities.  One factor is usability -- how useable the software and internet interface is.  The other factor discussed is sociability, since "[i[nformation from a disembodied source … Continue reading Online Communities: Usability & Sociability


Perkins et al.: New Conceptions of Thinking

This article is part of my research on dispositions.  I have already blogged on an article which goes into great depth about the nature of dispositions.  Just a few thoughts from this particular article, which argues that dispositions are best developed through enculturation. The authors make some interesting arguments about four distinct but mutually reinforcing … Continue reading Perkins et al.: New Conceptions of Thinking

Arbaugh on Virtual Immediacy

Arbaugh (2001) reports on research about the effect of immediacy behaviors in online learning.  She begins by defining immediacy behaviors as "communication behaviors that reduce social and psychological distance between people" (p. 43).  In a face-to-face setting, this might include nonverbal actions such as eye contact, smiling, movement around classroom, body position; and verbal acts … Continue reading Arbaugh on Virtual Immediacy

McShane on Face-to-Face vs Online Learning

I read another article by Kim McShane reporting case studies of five "early adopters" of technology who combined face-to-face with online teaching methods. McShane is particularly interested in how the use of ICT affects academics' identity and on their subjective experiences with teaching with new technologies. McShane reports these themes emerging from the case studies: … Continue reading McShane on Face-to-Face vs Online Learning

“Peopleware”: High Touch & High Tech

This article by Dean Spitzer (2001) argued that online learning needs to have a "high touch" or human interaction component, especially if the learning is more advanced cognitively.  Here are some quotations that caught my eye and fit with some of my thinking about blended learning: Is the purpose of DL [distance learning] just to … Continue reading “Peopleware”: High Touch & High Tech

Gerontology, High Tech, High Touch

This particular article wasn't very useful, and, sensing that from the start, I skimmed it.  It focuses on whether or not community-based organizations that serve senior citizens are using information technology (databases, in particular) as well as they could.  This article came up in an EBSCO search for "high touch," but somehow the description made … Continue reading Gerontology, High Tech, High Touch

“Sending Messages to a Machine”

This article was extremely qualitative, describing a case study of one professor in particular (with references to a couple others who were not the "highlight").  It was interesting, however, to read this discussion of online teaching as "the ultimate disorienting dilemma in higher education (Campbell-Gibson, 2000)" (p. 89). The featured professor is referred to by … Continue reading “Sending Messages to a Machine”

Perspective Sharing Online: Hakkinen & Jarvela

Just a few thoughts to share from this article.  Hakkinen & Jarvela are interested in the quality and nature of virtual interaction in the higher ed context. They wanted to know whether students' sharing and constructing of perspectives improved with pedagogical changes (it did, though the pedagogy they describe wasn't super innovative). The authors state … Continue reading Perspective Sharing Online: Hakkinen & Jarvela

Transformative Learning Experience: Wilson & Parrish

I came across a reference to the Wong article while reading another article by Brent Wilson and Patrick Parrish.  In this article, they discuss the definition and indicators of transformative learning experiences (TLEs), as well as moral, aesthetic, and archetypal considerations for creating learning encounters with transformative potential for learners. Here is the definition which … Continue reading Transformative Learning Experience: Wilson & Parrish