Constructive “Noise in the Channel”: Effects of Controversial Forwarded E-mail in a College Residential and Virtual Community
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Holeton, R. (1999). Constructive “Noise in the Channel”: Effects of Controversial Forwarded E-mail in a College Residential and Virtual Community. In B. Collis & R. Oliver (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 1999 (pp. 652-657). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.
Retrieved from http://www.editlib.org/p/6623.
As part of a case study of electronic community building in a college freshman dorm, discussion list messages were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. Messages were categorized by social purpose (housekeeping, social dialogue, or critical dialogue) and as either forwarded messages or original messages. Forwarded messages included jokes, polemics about politics or social issues, and electronic chain letters deemed offensive by some participants - e-mail forms that, along with metadiscussion, have been widely perceived as distractions and impediments to serious online discussion. A series of discussion threads about gender issues, however, reveals that such "noise in the channel" can frequently lead to constructive critical dialogue, both online and offline, in the context of a residential student community.
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