Thursday, May 12, 2005

Theoretical assumptions on e-moderation (from the literature review):

A. Many tutors new to online teaching and without the appropriate background or any experience of online learning are now asked to contribute to the development of their institutions’ online courses. However, as Bennet & Marsh (2002:15) stated ‘ most of those tutors are literally being asked to run before they can walk, with little clear image of how the route to their educational aims and objectives may be different from that followed in established, so-called traditional teaching and learning contexts’.

B. While some authors recognize the issue of effective tutor interventions and different learning contexts (Rourke et al, 1999), little is known about the range of effective e-moderation strategies available or about their relative effectiveness in maximizing the learning opportunities for students where directive and non-directive intervention takes place.

C. The literature review has identified a series of researches and studies in CMC and e-moderation that have suggested models and frameworks .(Paulsen, 1991,1994; Mason, 1991; Berge, 1995; Salmon, 2000; Anderson et al , 2001).However most of those models appear to offer limited transferability to different contexts, and to lack a clear pedagogical understanding of the teaching and learning process online. When ‘roles’ of the e-moderators are mentioned, the question of ‘how’ (that focuses on the process of doing e-moderation) remains without answer and in almost all of the cases further clarification of the pedagogical interventions, tactics and strategies adopted by the tutors is necessary to ‘illustrate’ the still fuzzy landscape of e-moderation.

D. A question arises as to how study e-moderation as an educational practice not only ‘in action’ but also ‘for action’ (Cowan, 1998). That means that it is important to study and research e-moderation while doing it ( in action/ research) and come with suggestions and recommendations but it is equally important to inform educators/moderators’ future practice (for action) by making use of existed theories and learning and teaching strategies as well as of their own experiences. As Kansanen (2003:221) comments: “ the totality of the educational process is too often forgotten and should more often to be taken into consideration”. He also reveals that “ examining learning is a wide and open topic …learning is based on particular relationships between teacher, the students and the content that is studied in the instructional process”(p.221). It could be added that this relationship is mostly ‘educational’ and it is regulated by pedagogical context. However, when moving online, the crucial ‘issue’ of educational practice is often missed or misunderstood.

E. There is a need for a more systematic evaluation of the CMC messages within the context where these messages were generated. Many researches stop with quantitative analyses based on number of messages sent, and by whom, or on frequency of logons, or on message maps showing numbers of replies and message chains. Statistical analysis of numeric data tells nothing about the quality and the development (the process of development) of the learning. On the other hand, when qualitative approaches, i.e content analysis, are adopted, a methodological problem arises as to how identify the appropriate ‘units’ and code those units, as well as how to examine the messages within a specific context.


At 4:56 AM, Blogger martha said...

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