Ambiguous Messages: Do Students Understand Instructors’ Intentions?

Avner Caspi, Eran Chajut, Kelly Saporta

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Understanding intentions is crucial in any communication, but in text-based communication may be a real problem. One explanation for the low rate of answers to instructors' posts in non-mandatory discussion groups is that student did not understand the instructors' intention to receive replies. 34 students rated 100 messages written by instructors of discussion groups on two dimensions: The existence of a manifestation of willingness to receive replies, and the relative weight of this manifestation among other intentions that the writer might have had. The results indicated that even when instructors intend to encourage students' participation and want students to reply, there will be some students who will not recognize and understand this intention. It is suggested that instructors write short and simple messages, make their intentions explicit, and use a less didactic tone.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationProceedings of ED-MEDIA 2004--World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications
EditorsLorenzo Cantoni, Catherine McLoughlin
Place of PublicationLugano, Switzerland
PublisherAssociation for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
ISBN (Print)9781880094532
StatePublished - 2004


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