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E-motional Interaction Between Teaching Assistants and Students:Expressing emotions via WebCT
Unformatted Document Text:  Teaching, Emotion, & Technology 6 Hackley, 1997; Woolsey, 1994). Ciglaric and Vidmar (1998) discussed some of the positive effects of computer-mediated instruction tools. They noted that: computer networks represent a new medium for bringing teachers, students and learning material in different locations together. Access to learning materials is possible at any time and from any computer, students can work at their own pace, they can learn individually but not alone: they can communicate with teachers and peers without having to meet at specific places and times. (p. 500) Interestingly, much of the research on computer-mediated instruction focuses more on the negative impacts of computer-mediated instruction tools, rather than the positive ones. Ciglaric and Vidmar (1998) believe that educators have to spend a lot of time and effort on updating their working skills. For example, Witmer (1998) detailed four obstacles that computer-mediated instruction tools create (p. 497). The four obstacles include: students’ discernment of when and how to use the technology; how the pedagogical playing field becomes fraught with peaks and valleys because the wide variance of student expertise in computer-mediated communication; the difference in which both students and educators talk about computers and; the inevitability that some students perceive computer-mediated instruction as extra work that is not pertinent to their classroom learning. By looking at varied research concerning computer-mediated instruction tools, we also found that most of the studies focus either on the students or the teachers. When studying students, researchers tended to pay more attention to how new kinds of web-based instruction influenced the academic performance of students (Wernet et al., 2000). For example, Althaus (1997), who focused on the effects of using interactive discussions via the Internet, suggested that: a combination of face-to-face and computer-mediated discussion provides a learning environment superior to that of the traditional classroom [because] students actively

Authors: Tsetsura, Katerina., Bigam, Mellisa., Buford, Laura. and Chen, Xiaolei.
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Teaching, Emotion, & Technology 6
Hackley, 1997; Woolsey, 1994). Ciglaric and Vidmar (1998) discussed some of the positive effects
of computer-mediated instruction tools. They noted that:
computer networks represent a new medium for bringing teachers, students and
learning material in different locations together. Access to learning materials is
possible at any time and from any computer, students can work at their own pace,
they can learn individually but not alone: they can communicate with teachers and
peers without having to meet at specific places and times. (p. 500)
Interestingly, much of the research on computer-mediated instruction focuses more on the
negative impacts of computer-mediated instruction tools, rather than the positive ones. Ciglaric and
Vidmar (1998) believe that educators have to spend a lot of time and effort on updating their
working skills. For example, Witmer (1998) detailed four obstacles that computer-mediated
instruction tools create (p. 497). The four obstacles include: students’ discernment of when and how
to use the technology; how the pedagogical playing field becomes fraught with peaks and valleys
because the wide variance of student expertise in computer-mediated communication; the difference
in which both students and educators talk about computers and; the inevitability that some students
perceive computer-mediated instruction as extra work that is not pertinent to their classroom
learning.
By looking at varied research concerning computer-mediated instruction tools, we also
found that most of the studies focus either on the students or the teachers. When studying students,
researchers tended to pay more attention to how new kinds of web-based instruction influenced the
academic performance of students (Wernet et al., 2000). For example, Althaus (1997), who focused
on the effects of using interactive discussions via the Internet, suggested that:
a combination of face-to-face and computer-mediated discussion provides a learning
environment superior to that of the traditional classroom [because] students actively


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