Web-based conferencing: Pedagogical asset or constraint?
AbstractEducators are increasingly engaging in innovative practices which use the World Wide Web as a pedagogical tool. One aspect of Web usage which shows promise of enhancing learning is that of Web-based conferencing. This paper describes an intervention in which the authors used a Web-based conferencing tool to promote dialogue within an international community of mathematics educators and prospective school teachers on the nature of mathematics and mathematics learning. Results of the intervention suggested that while benefits of new understandings about mathematics, improved writing, and collaboration did occur, affective outcomes of using a web based tool were often negative. The need to critically assess the pedagogical benefits of web based conferencing, both cognitive and affective, is discussed, and implications for practice are outlined.
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