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Classroom Exercise That Incorporates Internet Discussion Groups as an Integral Element in a Communication Course

Central States Communication Association Annual Meeting,


Responding to the dramatic changes in the style and form of communication, a communication instructor integrated the Internet into his communication courses at a liberal arts college. Students are required to sign up for a discussion group (listserv) that focuses on the course offering as well as a discussion group in their area of interest. Every other week, students write summaries of what happened in their discussion groups and e-mail it to the instructor. Students are encouraged to access as much information as they can as part of the information gathering process for their writing assignments. Students are also expected to conduct themselves according to the "rules" of the Internet. Five reasons students engage in this assignment are: (1) to gain an understanding of how to use electronic media; (2) to obtain a greater appreciation for the discipline of communication; (3) to start "networking" in their area of concentration; (4) to develop an understanding of the amount of information available; and (5) to combat the perception that graduates of small liberal arts colleges received little or no exposure to the latest technologies while in college. The assignment also led to an increase in the amount and quality of communication experienced in the student/professor relationship. The purposes for which students used electronic mail focused upon general communication, apologies, clarification of assignments, and to further examine in-class discussions. Electronic mail has afforded an additional channel of communication between the instructor and his students. (Contains nine references.) (RS)


Bruning, S.D. (1995). Classroom Exercise That Incorporates Internet Discussion Groups as an Integral Element in a Communication Course. Presented at Central States Communication Association Annual Meeting 1995. Retrieved November 28, 2021 from .

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