International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Mapping Conversation Patterns in the Asynchronous Classroom
Donald J. Winiecki

Distance education via asynchronous learning networks (ALNs) is an increasingly common method of educational delivery. To add to a practical and academic understanding of asynchronous, computer-mediated communication this article reports a conversation analysis study to „map the ground‟ of ALNs by identifying and describing conversation practices of ALN students in terms of conversation analytic structures of talk-in-interaction. Conclusions of the research indicate that ALN participants engage in discourse that resembles face-to-face (F2F) talk in substantive ways, and in some cases invent and implement communication techniques that serve to reconstruct features associated with synchronous interaction, including turn-taking, overlap, repairs and formulations. In this sense, asynchronous conversations in education are a special form of conversation (or “talk-in-interaction,” as it is known in the literature) that is distinct from both classically “written” forms of instruction, such as correspondence instruction methods and traditional face to face instruction.

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