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The Effects of a Computer-Based Instructional Management System on Student Communications in a Distance Learning Environment

The Effects of a Computer-Based Instructional Management System on Student Communications in a Distance Learning Environment

This paper presents data from a two-year study concerning the communication behaviors of students in a distance learning environment. On-line as well as traditional communication behaviors from students receiving instruction over the Internet using "stand alone" communication software were compared to a similar group whose instructional opportunities were managed by a commercial instructional management software program with integrated communication software. Significant differences were observed between the control and experimental groups in the volume of instructor-student email usage, student-student e-mail usage and use of the Internet for research purposes. Use of more traditional communication technologies (telephone and fax) showed no significant difference in volume between the control and experimental groups.

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