From Synchronous Face-to-Face Communication to Asynchronous Online Interaction: A Case from the Veterinary Medical Education

By Heli Irmeli Koskinen.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Veterinary students and their teachers experience spontaneous face-to-face interaction mostly when they communicate about their shared patients with each other. However, the change in educational culture from synchronous face-to-face contact to asynchronous online discussion might change the quality of this communication. As a part of a course of preventive disease control of food animals an online forum was established and the behavior of participants in online discussions was examined. This was done by Bales’ Interaction Process Analysis, known as a method for small group interaction research also in computer-mediated communication situations. In veterinary medical education, the professional, task-based behavior of participants predominated and socio-emotional acts, included in a face-to-face interaction previously observed, were almost forgotten in an online environment. The outcomes of students either face-to-face contact or online interaction were not assessed or compared, but its clarification could be interesting someday.

Keywords: Bales, Computer-mediated Communication, Higher Education, Information Processing, Interaction Process Analysis, Online Learning, Social Cues, Veterinary Medical Education

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp.127-138. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 683.315KB).

Dr. Heli Irmeli Koskinen

Post-Graduate Student in Social Psychology, Department of Social Psychology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

DVM, Ph.D. Heli I. Koskinen graduated three years ago from Vet. Faculty of University of Helsinki. Simultaneously she studied behavioral and pedagogical sciences at Helsinki University and made her doctoral studies on veterinary education evaluation. Her publications’ material consists mainly of the teaching evaluation in animal reproduction and veterinary diagnostic imaging.


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