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Informal Communication in Virtual Learning Environments

Informal Communication in Virtual Learning Environments
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Author(s): Werner Beuschel (University of Applied Sciences - Brandenburg, Germany), Birgit Gaiser (Knowledge Media Research Center - Teubingen, Germany) and Susanne Draheim (University of Applied Sciences - Brandenburg, Germany)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 5
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch166

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Abstract

Learning environments increasingly become more diverse by the use of information technology. Thereby, the share of face-to-face situations between students as well as between students and mentors becomes smaller, while the share of encounters in virtual space is growing larger. Thus, computer mediated communication (CMC) is growing in importance in all learning environments. Since standard learning environments involve both formal and informal communication, it seems reasonable to claim that without informal communication students and faculty would have difficulties in sustaining the learning processes. Beyond the ever-growing exchange of formal content, the opportunity of informal communication appears increasingly essential for the successful pursuit of online studies.

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