Interaction in the Computer-Mediated Distance Learning Triptych: Description, Design, Implementation

multipaper session
  1. 1. Heloisa Collins

    Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo

  2. 2. Harold Short

    King's College London

Child sessions
  1. Description, Robert Wyatt
  2. Design, Heloisa Collins, Rosinda Ramos
  3. Implementation, Ana Silvia Ferreira
Work text
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While the more developed countries of the world enjoy the benefits of efficient transportation, communication and education systems, countries in development, like Brazil, are still contending with poor distribution of wealth and public resources. In McCluhan's "global village", not all the villagers are on an equal footing. Modern electronic media are providing the tools to level the terrain. Brazil, a land of great distances, contrasts, resources and potential, is fertile ground for the unique characteristics and advantages of computer mediated distance learning.

However, technology alone is not a solution. Efficient use of the scientific advances available to education requires creative thinking on the part of educators, since there is no guarantee that traditional, time-tested methods of instruction will be effective in the new electronic environment. The path to development is communication with a larger world. The key which will unlock the door to this world is English, especially in its written form. It is no secret that English has today the status of an international language.

This is the impetus for the present work: to enable educators and professionals in Brazil to become more autonomous in their personal development so that they can reach out to the "global village". Our part in the process focuses on three main steps of course planning: description of the target discourse, design of courses for the specific context of computer mediated distance learning (CMDL) and course implementation.

The first panel of the triptych will focus on the importance of description of a selected type of discourse, Internet discussion lists. Within the perspective of the present session, description plays a vital role in the completion of needs analysis prior to the planning and implementation of an English for Special Purposes course.

The second will address the difficulties of course design in the light of the perception that interaction through computers is different from interaction in the classroom. It will also introduce a report on the impact of a pilot program, designed according to interactive criteria, for Brazilian business people.

The final panel will show some aspects of the huge complexity of CMDL implementation in the context of reading for academic purposes. The interactions between the learners and their teacher will be contrasted with prior expectations and analyzed for the specific factors which influenced them.

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Conference Info

In review


Hosted at University of Bergen

Bergen, Norway

June 25, 1996 - June 29, 1996

147 works by 190 authors indexed

Scott Weingart has print abstract book that needs to be scanned; certain abstracts also available on dh-abstracts github page. (

Conference website:

Series: ACH/ICCH (16), ALLC/EADH (23), ACH/ALLC (8)

Organizers: ACH, ALLC