Computer mediated communication (cmc) as a subject


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Introduction to the subject of cmc discourse

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  • With the graph, I’d like to present very briefly the development of technology for communication. Looking backward, we found that in the history of human communication, there is a clear evolution of communication technology which enabled the written language and has been facilitating people’s use of language. After the creation of writing system, we can see a technological path from manual to mechanical to digital as an accelerating pace. Each step has increased human beings’ ability in manipulating the writing system to a greater extent than the previous one. This accelerating speed has come along with and been facilitating the expansion of meaning potential, in other words, it speeds up the variation of discourse. For example, the invention of the printing had enabled the popularity of educational discourse. Currently, CMC discourse has become the focus of discourse analysis over only three decades after its birth.
  • 04/02/12 As far as communication is concerned, it can be defined as exchange of information as we did in the first lecture. But we should be cautious not to remove the most important aspect of communication, i.e. the context or the environment in which the communication moves on. Consequently, there are three factors to be considered for communication: the message or the content that is transmitted in different modes including the verbal, audio-video, body movement, facial expression, etc; the second factor is the persons, including the message sender(s) and receiver(s), and lastly, the context.
  • 04/02/12
  • 04/02/12 Here, I’d like to start with the path of learning in CMC context. Usually, we start with mastering the computer and exploring its potential on a practical level and then move to a more critical awareness of the way it enables us to participate in social interaction using the Internet. For the first two stages, we name it as “surface learning”, for the last stage, we name it “deep learning”. With the surface learning, we focus on practical applications of the computer: to explore the approaches to improve our writing, use graphics, contact others via emails, join chat rooms, create our own websites, etc. While with the deep learning, we will regard CMC as a radical transformation of learning about ourselves, about others, and about the world we live in. We will focus on the nature of CMC and the impact of the internet on social interaction, including online ethics, identity, democracy, feminism, and language. Our focus in this subject is not on the computer knowledge, nor much on the computer tools, for which you can learn through practice. Our focus is on communication.
  • Computer mediated communication (cmc) as a subject

    1. 1. ENGL316Computer-mediated Communication Introduction
    2. 2. 1.What is communication? Whocommunicate? The interactions/communication of people: “Who does what, when, where and how" Who communicate?  Human beings, animals, birds, fish, insects…  To attract mates, defend territories, maintain coordination in groups… What is communicated?  Give or demand information  statements, question  Give and demand goods-&-services  offer, demand04/02/12 2
    3. 3. When, where and how? Real-time or delayed? Face-to-face or distant? Spoken, written, computer-mediated? Text or multimodality?04/02/12 3
    4. 4. 2. Communication and technology The history of communication always involve the development of communication technologies04/02/12 4
    5. 5. Pictograph 3500 B.C. Emergence of written language in the Middle West Inscription ideograph Elitist education Oracle bone inscriptions Handwriting 1500s B.C. Language bamboo slips; papyrus rolls and parchments Typing & Text & printing 0 society ? Human messengers, postal system; paper (105) Printing press (305) Movable type (1049) Text Audio Modern media: newspaper Mass education Digital writing Video 1900s Typewriter (1867); telephone (1876); telegraphy (1884) Multimodality and printing04/02/12 Radio (1902); television (1927), cell phone (the 70s); 5 Computer (the 80s); Internet (the 90s)
    6. 6. 3. What is CMC concerned about? Computer-mediated communication (CMC) is the use of an application computer to control multimedia interactive and message-based communication to provide more effective ways of doing things. (Rob Walters) Computer-Mediated Communication is a process of human communication via computers, involving people, situated in particular contexts, engaging in processes to shape media for a variety of purposes. (John December)04/02/12 6
    7. 7. 3.1 CMC Involves People The CMC contexts for human participation follow the offline human communication contexts: individual, group, mass; organizational, or societal.  At the individual level, people use Internet tools to retrieve information, and communicate with others. Electronic mail is probably the most prevalent form of this kind of communication.  Theres a wider range of activity in group communication on the Internet. Electronic mail, and other forms of text, audio, and video means exist.  To communicate at the mass level, it is often simply a matter of taking the tools from the group or individual level and applying them to larger numbers of people.04/02/12 7
    8. 8. Con’t People go online for one reason or another. It may be “to work”, "to play," "to kill time," or even "to be cool," but there is a reason. Moreover, the purposes people give for using the Net and Web relate to their context, with factors such as peer pressure and social context influencing online behaviour.04/02/12 8
    9. 9. 3.2 CMC Involves Processes Online  People might:  Create meaning by writing emails, posting articles to Internet, writing in real-time chat environments, creating websites, and preparing multimedia files.  Disseminate meaning through point to point communication (email), point to multipoint (Internet Relay Chat, email lists, Web forums, Web sites), and multipoint to multipoint (within email lists, Chat, or IRC when many people are involved in a discussion).04/02/12 9
    10. 10. Con’t  Perceive meaning in text and multimedia on Web sites, email, Usenet, etc.  Continuously participate in forums for communication that begin to exhibit characteristics of community--including a shared sense of purpose, norms for behaviour, and traditions.04/02/12 10
    11. 11. 3.3 CMC is Situated in a human context All acts themselves are situated in a social context. The human relationships surrounding CMC. No particular act of CMC can be understood without considering the social systems in which it takes place.04/02/12 11
    12. 12. Mode: Spoken/written/picture/ video/sound/animation/emotic Communication componentsPersonal: person-person on, etcCommunal: person-group Style: Formal/informalMass: accessible to everyone Language: monolingual, bilingual, or multilingual Receive Sender Message r Context: place,time, technology race, age, social status etcSynchronous/Asynchronous Media types: oral, grass, stone, paper, electronic. Recording method: drawing, 04/02/12 handwriting, printing, digital, etc 12
    13. 13. Context for communication Field  The topic being communicated Tenor  The participants, and the relationship between them Mode  The channel for communication: spoken, written or multimodal04/02/12 13
    14. 14. 4. Synchronous vs. asynchronous The exchange of information can be real time or synchronous communication; this means that people are communicating with each other at the same time. Asynchronous communication means that people are communicating at different times. They can send and receive their messages at any time they want.04/02/12 14
    15. 15. 4. What’s needed for CMC? For all of the CMC systems you will need a common computer, a network connection, and special software. If you want to use audio conferencing or voice mail you also need a microphone and a soundcard. For video conferencing you will need a video camera.04/02/12 15
    16. 16. 5.Multimedia Text (letters, numbers, punctuation, special characters, and controls) Graphics (lines, circles, boxes, shading, fill colors etc.) Images (still pictures, expressed as the colors of many small individual picture elements (pixels), either photographs or paintings) Audio (sound, including voice, music, and special effects) Video (successive pictures presented sufficiently rapidly to give the appearance of smooth motion) Animations, flashes, 3D…04/02/12 16
    17. 17. 6. Some CMC Systems World Wide Web E-mail Newsgroups Instant Messengers Blog Computer conferencing Audio conferencing Video conferencing Whiteboard environments04/02/12 17
    18. 18. World Wide Web WWW is the part of the Internet that brings together all of the different kinds of online resources available (e.g.. File archives, remotely accessible databases, newsgroup discursions) via word processor-like documents. Web documents, which can integrate text, graphics, sound, and motion, usually contain links to other Internet resources. On the WWW, some communication facilities are available. For instance, it is possible to put your comments on a web-page in a synchronous or asynchronous manner and other people can add their comments.04/02/12 18
    19. 19. E-mail  The users produce, send and receive mail at a computer. The messages will be stored on a server and the users can get their mail when they want to.  Usually the message will contain only text, but it’s also possible to attach files to the messages with images, audio, etc. although this feature isn’t supported by all email software.04/02/12 19
    20. 20. Newsgroups A newsgroup is a repository usually within the Usenet system, for messages posted form many users at different locations. Newsgroups are public discussion on more than 100,000 different topics on the Internet. With a newsreader program, users can read what others have written, respond publicly or privately to the articles author, and post new ideas, questions or requests to the newsgroup.04/02/12 20
    21. 21. Major Newsgroups: These discussions cover the full range of human discourse and provide a fascinating look at evolving viewpoints, debate and advice on every subject from politics to technology.  alt. Any conceivable topic.  news. Info about Usenet News...  biz. Business products, services, reviews...  rec. Games, hobbies, sports...  comp. Hardware, software, consumer info...  sci. Applied science, social science...  humanities. Fine art, literature, philosophy...  soc. Social issues, culture...  misc. Employment, health, and much more...  talk. Current issues and debates...04/02/12 21
    22. 22. Instant Messenger Instant messenger is an interactive communication device. A device for communicating with your friends in typing messages, webcam, microphone to have real chat. It is getting popular as it has multi-functions. ICQ, Yahoo Messenger, Window Live Messenger, and QQ are among the most popular instant messaging applications.04/02/12 22
    23. 23. Blog A blog is a personal web site, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. A person who is blogging is called a blogger.04/02/12 23
    24. 24. Video conferencing Is real time video and audio communication between people in different locations. A video camera, a monitor, and some features to control them are needed to send and receive the information.04/02/12 24
    25. 25. Whiteboard environments Are virtual meetings where each participant can use the mouse to draw sketches on the whiteboard. As each user is drawing, every other user connected to the server sees the updates almost immediately. Most whiteboard programs also have a chat window where participants can type messages to each other.04/02/12 25
    26. 26. An example of whiteboard environments04/02/12 26
    27. 27. Path of Learning in CMC Context Learn about computer: Computer Technological learning / computer Learn through computer: literacy Mediated Research on communication meditated with computer Advanced learning / CMC Communication discourse04/02/12 27
    28. 28. Path of Learning in CMC Context Learn about computer: Learn out of necessity, e.g. Computer the operation of computer; the use of softwares, Internet etc Learn through computer: Applied/pragmatic learning, Media e.g. online communication, online searching library, (Mediated) online gaming, etc. Research on communication meditated with computer Critical learning, e.g. exploring, Communication appraising and evaluating the impact of CMC on the social04/02/12 28 relationships, social values, language, etc