The development of new communication technologies and their applications has opened a broad spectrum of options to promote learning, of which a significant one is CMC - Computer-Mediated Communication. Yet, students use this medium to a relatively small extent. Our premise is that the use of these technologies depends on the level of skills and expertise of the individuals using them. The purpose of this study is to determine whether taking a Computer Literacy and Applications course (CLA) before taking CMC courses has an impact on students' participation in CMC courses and on the effective use of various CMC tools. The sample consisted of 153 students enrolled in CMC courses in the Social Sciences in the Spring 2001/2 and Fall 2002/3 semesters. Participants were divided into two groups: 80 students who had taken CLA, and 73 students who had not. A questionnaire to assess the impact of CLA on participation in CMC courses was administered to the two groups. The results of the study indicate that participation in CMC courses is more intensive in the group that had taken CLA. Based on these findings, we recommend mandating a CLA course, like the one developed at the Open University of Israel (OUI), before taking CMC courses.
- Computer-mediated communication
- Distance education and telelearning
- Interactive learning environments