Perception of democracy in computer-mediated communication: Participation, responsibility, collaboration, and reflection.
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Teaching in Higher Education
Computer-mediated communicationCommunity of inquiryAcademic democracyStudent participationHigher education
Gallego-Arrufat, M.J.; Gutiérrez-Santiuste, E. Perception of democracy in computer-mediated communication: Participation, responsibility, collaboration, and reflection. Teaching in Higher Education, 20(1), 92-106 (2015). [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/36462]
We present a case study to analyze how higher education students attending a Spanish University (N = 100) democratize the virtual classroom by assuming responsibility for their learning and that of the other members of the class; participate actively in social, cognitive, and teaching issues; and collaborate by creating a learning community and reflecting individually and as a group. Our mixed methodology includes the following: (1) content analysis with a categorization system adapted from the community of inquiry approach and (2) two questionnaires on students’ perception of the democratic elements in the virtual classroom. The results show that the students assume democratic principles of responsibility, critique, participation, and collaboration. We observe the role that the teachers play in facilitating democratization of the classroom through flexible design of instruction, promotion of social relationships, and orientation of the debate toward the learning objectives. This investigation shows the implementation of democratic principles in the virtual classroom.