using network conferences

Tony Travis ajt at
Mon May 31 04:15:46 EST 1993

Ricardo J Salvador (rjsalvad at edu.iastate) wrote:
: In article <1993May28.144653.12185 at> ajt at writes:
: >Tom Michaels (TMICHAEL at CA.UOGUELPH.CROP) wrote:
: >: Have any of you used network conferences such as this one in
: >: undergraduate courses?
: >I think this is great, Tom.
: >One snag is that it takes a while for messages to propagate and the
: >time differences between geographically distant sites make it difficult
: >to imagine a 'class' situation, but I can see the virtue in putting out
: >assertions/questions one day and reviewing the responses after a few
: >days.
: I would say that this in fact is _the reason_ to use the Internet 
: for "class situations" involving "geographically distant sites." Barring
: mechanical problems, article propagation on the net would rarely take
: more than 24 h.  Often the greatest barriers to interactivity among
: students and instructors under these circumstances involve the differences
: in time zones and the limited amount of time available during structured
: "broadcasts," which must contain a good balance of information delivery,
: instruction, and reaction/discussion from students. The Internet removes
: these barriers by allowing people to take the time to articulate their
: questions or comments at their own convenience, and allowing the instructor
: [...]

I agree with you, Ricardo.

One aspect of Usenet discussions that you didn't mention is that it is
easier for everyone who is participating to have their say unlike in a
real 'class' situation where the extrovert members of the group tend to
dominate the discussion.

I also like the 'self-documenting' feature of Usenet discussions where
everyone participating has the opportunity to review what they and
others have said during the exchanges.  I sometimes find it useful to
re-read saved news threads a few months after they have been posted.

Dr. A.J.Travis,                       |  JANET: <ajt at>
Rowett Research Institute,            |  other: <ajt at>
Greenburn Road, Bucksburn,            |  phone: +44 (0)224 712751
Aberdeen, AB2 9SB. UK.                |    fax: +44 (0)224 715349

More information about the Plantbio mailing list