Communicating for the Purpose of Learning in the Online Environment: An Analysis of Student-initiated Communicative Acts in UWIDEC's Blended Learning Pilot Project

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2006-10
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)
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PCF4 // 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. // Paper ID 323

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West Indies
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Caribbean and Americas
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