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E-motional Interaction Between Teaching Assistants and Students:Expressing emotions via WebCT
Unformatted Document Text:  Teaching, Emotion, & Technology 12 RQ1: Do students express their emotions through electronic interaction with their teaching assistants via e-mail when the students are initiators of such communication? RQ2: Do teaching assistants express their emotions to students through electronic communication via e-mail when answering to e-mails initiated by students? RQ3: Which emotions are being expressed in such interactions by teaching assistants and students? Method Data gathering To answer the aforementioned research questions, we chose to perform a discourse analysis of e-mails written by teaching assistants to their students. A WebCT based e-mail sample of electronic interaction outside of a basic human communication (speech) class, taught by teaching assistants at a large Midwestern university, was used in this study. The researchers analyzed WebCT based e-mail communication in seven sections taught by three teaching assistants over a one-semester period. Due to a large amount of WebCT based e-mails (one teaching assistant reported that she received 3,178 e-mails from students of three sections, between the August 20, 2001, the first day of the semester, and November 30, 2001, the day authors began to work on this study), the researchers further narrowed down the data and established a specific time period for analyzing e-mails: those written between October 1 (the first break of the fall semester for students of this university) and November 27 (the last date available at the time). The authors decided to pick only those WebCT based e-mail answers, which were initiated by students, i.e. written voluntarily by a student – not in response to an assignment or an instructor’s request. It was decided by the authors of this study that such emails will clearly demonstrate whether emotions were used in emails because of the non- required nature of such email writing. Data analytic techniques

Authors: Tsetsura, Katerina., Bigam, Mellisa., Buford, Laura. and Chen, Xiaolei.
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Teaching, Emotion, & Technology 12
RQ1: Do students express their emotions through electronic interaction with their teaching
assistants via e-mail when the students are initiators of such communication?
RQ2: Do teaching assistants express their emotions to students through electronic communication
via e-mail when answering to e-mails initiated by students?
RQ3: Which emotions are being expressed in such interactions by teaching assistants and students?
Method
Data gathering
To answer the aforementioned research questions, we chose to perform a discourse analysis
of e-mails written by teaching assistants to their students.
A WebCT based e-mail sample of electronic interaction outside of a basic human
communication (speech) class, taught by teaching assistants at a large Midwestern university, was
used in this study. The researchers analyzed WebCT based e-mail communication in seven sections
taught by three teaching assistants over a one-semester period.
Due to a large amount of WebCT based e-mails (one teaching assistant reported that she
received 3,178 e-mails from students of three sections, between the August 20, 2001, the first day of
the semester, and November 30, 2001, the day authors began to work on this study), the researchers
further narrowed down the data and established a specific time period for analyzing e-mails: those
written between October 1 (the first break of the fall semester for students of this university) and
November 27 (the last date available at the time). The authors decided to pick only those WebCT
based e-mail answers, which were initiated by students, i.e. written voluntarily by a student – not in
response to an assignment or an instructor’s request. It was decided by the authors of this study that
such emails will clearly demonstrate whether emotions were used in emails because of the non-
required nature of such email writing.
Data analytic techniques


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