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E-motional Interaction Between Teaching Assistants and Students:Expressing emotions via WebCT
Unformatted Document Text:  Teaching, Emotion, & Technology 7 involved in computer-mediated discussion groups not only reported learning more than they otherwise would have, but they also tended to earn higher grades. (p. 159) On the other hand, those researchers who studied teachers put a stronger focus on how teachers develop the expertise needed in order to utilize computer-mediated instruction to its fullest potential. A good example of such a study is Sherry, Bilig, Tavalin, and Gibson’s (2000) look at the stages of teacher progression. The authors of that study found that teachers generally “go through four distinct stages (from learners to adopters to co-learners/explorers and finally reaffirmation/rejection of the project) to develop expertise and gain in-depth understanding of the content and pedagogy in order to achieve effective teaching” (p. 42). Although the aforementioned studies looked at very important aspects of computer-mediated instruction, we suggest that emotion is an area that has remained unexplored. As we demonstrate, the use of emotion through tools such as those available on WebCT is an important and significant aspect of teaching using technology. Although emotional aspects of computer-mediated instruction have been touched upon in some studies (i.e., Scott & Rockwell, 1997), none have looked at the constraints and capabilities the technology offers when paired with a “naturally” emotional service occupation such as teaching. The following section focuses on the emotional aspects of teaching and some possible challenges that computer-mediated instruction tools pose to the expression of those emotions. Emotional Aspects of Teaching Teaching in higher education is often seen as an emotional process. Although few researchers have looked at the emotional aspect of teaching (Gates, 2000), some studies have examined the different aspects of teaching that bring emotions into the everyday interaction between students and teachers, as well as the influence of experiencing and expressing emotions has

Authors: Tsetsura, Katerina., Bigam, Mellisa., Buford, Laura. and Chen, Xiaolei.
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Teaching, Emotion, & Technology 7
involved in computer-mediated discussion groups not only reported learning more
than they otherwise would have, but they also tended to earn higher grades. (p. 159)
On the other hand, those researchers who studied teachers put a stronger focus on how
teachers develop the expertise needed in order to utilize computer-mediated instruction to its fullest
potential. A good example of such a study is Sherry, Bilig, Tavalin, and Gibson’s (2000) look at the
stages of teacher progression. The authors of that study found that teachers generally “go through
four distinct stages (from learners to adopters to co-learners/explorers and finally
reaffirmation/rejection of the project) to develop expertise and gain in-depth understanding of the
content and pedagogy in order to achieve effective teaching” (p. 42).
Although the aforementioned studies looked at very important aspects of computer-mediated
instruction, we suggest that emotion is an area that has remained unexplored. As we demonstrate,
the use of emotion through tools such as those available on WebCT is an important and significant
aspect of teaching using technology.
Although emotional aspects of computer-mediated instruction have been touched upon in
some studies (i.e., Scott & Rockwell, 1997), none have looked at the constraints and capabilities the
technology offers when paired with a “naturally” emotional service occupation such as teaching.
The following section focuses on the emotional aspects of teaching and some possible challenges
that computer-mediated instruction tools pose to the expression of those emotions.
Emotional Aspects of Teaching
Teaching in higher education is often seen as an emotional process. Although few
researchers have looked at the emotional aspect of teaching (Gates, 2000), some studies have
examined the different aspects of teaching that bring emotions into the everyday interaction
between students and teachers, as well as the influence of experiencing and expressing emotions has


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