POTENTIALS AND PITFALLS OF VIRTUAL GROUP COMMUNICATION: REFLECTING ON PEDAGOGY IN AN ONLINE FORUM
University of Nicosia (CYPRUS)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:This paper provides a reflective account of the development of an online discussion group. The group was developed to support the teaching of an undergraduate course in the theories of group communication. The challenges for the course were the need to broaden its scope to include theories of virtual group communication and to engage students in online discussions about the nature of group communication in digital contexts. Drawing on past experience of face-to-face teaching based on narrative pedagogical principles, the challenge for this course was to explore the communicative potential and pitfalls of online forums, blogs and social networking sites by engaging students in authentic online communication related to course objectives. In order to realise these goals, online communication using the Google Groups function was used to support face-to-face teaching in the classroom. The following paper sets out the background to the online component of the course, the pedagogic rationale and the activities designed to support online learning. The potentials as well as the pitfalls of this type of learning are also discussed.
Keywords: Higher education, pedagogy, online communication.