Learning occurs through processes of interaction with course components. A major part of the interaction will be between learner and instructional material, but tutors and co-learners will form part of the interactions that make up the whole. The nature of these interactions may be both academic and pastoral and in many distance courses are effected through Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) tools. CMC data represents a record of short-term negotiations and progress but this paper argues that they can find an important place in course evaluation and development procedures. The paper draws on evidence gathered during the delivery and support of a distance course in educational technology for teachers of English as a second language at the University of Manchester. It illustrates how threads of communication provide illuminative evaluation data as they are mapped against events and stages in the lifetime of a course, that is interactions with instructional content, tutors, co-learners. This process of description and interpretation clearly impacts on course developmen
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