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Features of orality, academic writing and interaction in asynchronic student discussion forums
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Language, Literature and Intercultural Studies.
2014 (English)In: Nordic Journal of English Studies, ISSN 1654-6970, E-ISSN 1654-6970, Vol. 13, no 3, 54-82 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

This study employs quantitative and qualitative methods to compare the frequency and usage of selected linguistic features with a deictic function in discussion forum messages taken from three undergraduate courses in English. The main aim of the study was to examine how the written asynchronous interaction in the discussion forums relates to spoken registers (conversation and an oral academic seminar) and written academic prose; a secondary aim was to investigate student interaction. The results of the study show that the frequencies of the majority of features examined were positioned between the spoken registers and academic prose and that these features were sometimes used in structures typical of conversation and other times used in structures typical of academic prose.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 13, no 3, 54-82 p.
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
English
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-34761OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-34761DiVA: diva2:770233
Available from: 2014-12-09 Created: 2014-12-10 Last updated: 2015-01-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Language and interaction in online asynchronous communication in university level English courses
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Language and interaction in online asynchronous communication in university level English courses
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Interaction involves people communicating and reacting to each other. This process is key to the study of discourse, but it is not easy to study systematically how interaction takes place in a specific communicative event, or how it is typically performed over a series of repeated communicative events. However, with a written record of the interaction, it becomes possible to study the process in some detail. This thesis investigates interaction through asynchronous written discussion forums in a computer-mediated learning environment.

In particular, this study investigates pragmatic aspects of the communicative event which the asynchronous online discussions comprise. The first case study examines response patterns to messages by looking at the content of initial messages and responses, in order to determine the extent to which characteristics of the messages themselves or other situational factors affect the interaction. The second study examines in what ways participants use a range of discourse devices, including formulaic politeness, humour and supportive feedback as community building strategies in the interaction. The third study investigates the role of the subject line of messages in the interaction, for example by examining how participants choose different types of subject lines for different types of messages. The fourth study examines to what extent features serving a deictic function are drawn on in the interaction and then compares the findings to both oral conversation and formal academic discourse.

The overall findings show a complex communicative situation shaped by the medium itself, type of activity, the academic discipline and topic of discussion and by the social and cultural aspects of tertiary education in an online learning environment. In addition, the findings may also provide evidence of learning.

 

Abstract [en]

The four case studies presented in Language and interaction in online asynchronous communication in university level English courses investigate written discussion forum interaction in a computer-mediated learning environment. These studies deal with different, yet related, aspects of discussion forum communication. Aspects included are the labeling and response patterns of messages, community-building strategies among participants and features of informal conversation and formal academic writing in the messages. Building on discourse analysis combined with content analysis and corpus method, the work systematically examines the linguistic patterns of communication in the discussion forums. The findings show that there are multiple factors at work simultaneously that affect the linguistic choices by the discourse participants. The constraints and opportunities of the communication are not only connected to the fact that it is computer-mediated, but also to the fact that it is written and in a particular academic environment. Knowledge of the choices available and of what factors potentially affect them is useful for anybody involved in research on net-based teaching and learning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2015. 77 p.
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2015:5
Keyword
Discussion forums, asynchronous CMC, net-based learning, interaction, discourse
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
English
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-34757 (URN)978-91-7063-616-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-02-06, Fryxellsalen, 1B 306, Universitetsgatan 2, 651 88 Karlstad, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-01-20 Created: 2014-12-10 Last updated: 2015-12-28Bibliographically approved

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http://ojs.ub.gu.se/ojs/index.php/njes/article/view/2856
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