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Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education CHINESE LEARNERS AND ONLINE DISCUSSIONS: NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR MULTICULTURAL CLASSROOMS

By Philippa Gerbic

Abstract

The widespread participation of international and new migrant Chinese students in Western universities has raised fresh issues regarding how these students adapt to new learning cultures where critical thinking and interaction are emphasized and online learning is integral to many courses. This paper reports research in a New Zealand university about the ways in which Chinese students operated in online discussions, and it examines the influence of the computer-mediated communication (CMC) medium and the curriculum on their learning. The study found that a major benefit for Chinese students was their increased participation which arose from the text-based, asynchronous and virtual characteristics of the medium; this mitigated some issues relating to language competence. Chinese students found that reading and writing messages helped them develop their thinking and understanding. The debate, with its controversy and argument was not motivational, but the assessed nature of the activity was highly influential. The research also found that, despite their lack of familiarity with online discussions, the Chinese students adapted and responded successfully to this new learning context

Topics: Chinese learners, computer-mediated communication, blended learning, online discussions, New Zealand
Year: 2013
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.353.2450
Provided by: CiteSeerX
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