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E-motional Interaction Between Teaching Assistants and Students:Expressing emotions via WebCT
Unformatted Document Text:  Teaching, Emotion, & Technology 13 In this qualitative study, we used an interaction analysis approach. As Putnam and Fairhust (2001) pointed out, interaction analysis examines structures and functions of talk. Since e-mail communication is structured within the organization and is a part of teacher-student interaction, examination of such patterns and understanding of its functions are essential. Focusing on categories and meanings embedded in the structural patterns, interactive analysis allows researchers to link between structures of talk and interpretations of such structures. In this study, it is particularly important to emphasize the connection between structures and interpretations of e-mail interaction. In this case, the structure of electronic written interaction between teaching assistants and students is constructed in a particular way, which is affected by the social status of the communicators. Interaction analysis also recognizes the importance of context in the study of language. Putnam and Fairhurst (2001) argued that such a method “privileges contextual features and focuses on discourse as action” (p. 89). It is essential for this study to understand the context of interaction between teaching assistants and students, as well as to recognize aspects that can affect the patterns of their interaction, including the difference in social status, age, gender, and manifested/perceived personal goals, as well as similarities (both, teaching assistants and students are students of the same institution; they also can have the same age and gender characteristics). A specific type of interaction analysis, adaptive structuration theory was used in this study. According to Putnam and Fairhurst (2001), this type “focuses on the mutual influence of technology and social processes on organizational change” (p. 100). Studying the appropriation of technology and the effects it has on different groups, DeSanctis and Poole (1994), for instance, used the adaptive structuration theory. We draw from the adaptive structuration theory to analyze whether the e-mail interaction between teaching assistants and students influences the demonstration of emotions. Using e-mail texts written by teaching assistants and students as an additional communicative tool for interaction

Authors: Tsetsura, Katerina., Bigam, Mellisa., Buford, Laura. and Chen, Xiaolei.
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Teaching, Emotion, & Technology 13
In this qualitative study, we used an interaction analysis approach. As Putnam and Fairhust
(2001) pointed out, interaction analysis examines structures and functions of talk. Since e-mail
communication is structured within the organization and is a part of teacher-student interaction,
examination of such patterns and understanding of its functions are essential. Focusing on
categories and meanings embedded in the structural patterns, interactive analysis allows researchers
to link between structures of talk and interpretations of such structures. In this study, it is
particularly important to emphasize the connection between structures and interpretations of e-mail
interaction. In this case, the structure of electronic written interaction between teaching assistants
and students is constructed in a particular way, which is affected by the social status of the
communicators. Interaction analysis also recognizes the importance of context in the study of
language. Putnam and Fairhurst (2001) argued that such a method “privileges contextual features
and focuses on discourse as action” (p. 89). It is essential for this study to understand the context of
interaction between teaching assistants and students, as well as to recognize aspects that can affect
the patterns of their interaction, including the difference in social status, age, gender, and
manifested/perceived personal goals, as well as similarities (both, teaching assistants and students
are students of the same institution; they also can have the same age and gender characteristics).
A specific type of interaction analysis, adaptive structuration theory was used in this study.
According to Putnam and Fairhurst (2001), this type “focuses on the mutual influence of technology
and social processes on organizational change” (p. 100). Studying the appropriation of technology
and the effects it has on different groups, DeSanctis and Poole (1994), for instance, used the
adaptive structuration theory.
We draw from the adaptive structuration theory to analyze whether the e-mail interaction
between teaching assistants and students influences the demonstration of emotions. Using e-mail
texts written by teaching assistants and students as an additional communicative tool for interaction


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