Thursday, October 9, 2014

Entry 9 IDT1415 Reflections on Warschauer's Interaction, Negotiation and Computer-mediated Learning

Warschauer 2001' s observations are primarily based on written CMC. However, CMC has developed a long way since Warschauer's article, especially with the introduction of more and more sophisticated voiced based tools. Discuss Warschauer's claims in view of voiced CMC.

Thanks to the fast development of VOIPs it is now possible to communicate orally and also via video with others. While I agree with Karina on most respects and especially on the fact that 'the pressure is on' when video is available, I believe that voiced CMC still holds true to many of the points made by Warschauer but to a lesser extent. For instance, from an input perspective comprehension is necessary for acquisition to take place and it is pointed out that asynchronous interaction allows for self regulation as planning time is increased (overlapping with output perspective). This may not be fully true of voiced CMC as technological advancement has provided for fast and powerful connections which mirror the conditions for video conferencing almost perfectly. Having said this, voiced CMC also adheres to netiquette rules and as such turn taking e.g. selecting the hands-up icon and waiting for your turn still allows for some 'thinking' or 'planning time'. Along the same lines, voiced CMC also requires a 'moderator' who ensures interaction takes place in an ordered way so I believe this also add to increased planning time. In addition, negotiation of meaning and the consequent 'interactional modifications that benefit acquisition' are also possible in voiced CMC as Long's repetition, confirmation, reformulation, comprehension checks, recasts, confirmation checks and clarification (1996 in Warschauer 2001) are still possible and even enhanced by some of the features video conferencing platforms offer e.g. chat boxes, drawing, screen and file sharing, etc. I believe that it is through these features that the third claim (noticing is beneficial to - and perhaps a requirement for - acquisition) can be fulfilled as negotiating meaning is not only allowed but also enhanced by these features thus permitting noticing.

As far as output perspectives are concerned, I already mentioned how voiced CMC also allows for increased (my emphasis) planning time so I now turn to the claims of fluency and accuracy. Key concepts highlighted were a nonthreatening environment and higher complexity in participant output in CMC duly noting that the latter did not necessarily mean accuracy. By adding voice to CMC I believe fluency and accuracy are also aided by the features mentioned before because of the 'repetition' opportunities these afford and how repetition as one of the Long's (op.cit) identified modifications also benefits acquisition.

Finally, I think that the sociocultural perspective is the one that benefits the most of voiced CMC as technological advancement allows for better 'social interaction' by granting users a reduced power of ubiquity - we can be present in a virtual room available in as many places as the technology allows it. Now, along these lines, I believe that voiced CMC has been and is still in the process of being enhanced as new features and affordances are added on a regular basis. For instance, the possibility of being a 'participant observant ethnographer' is still possible while also enriched by the variety of input modes now available which allow the observer the luxury of paralinguistic features. Of course the affordances of voiced CMC automatically renders observation active unless a 'lurking' roles is defined prior to interaction with the group. Speech activity and apprenticeship are also enhanced because the possibilities of interaction with others who can offer scaffolded encounters are of much better quality to that or oral interactions alone as it is possible, as I have experienced myself in video conferences, that on occasions when I have not been sure of something, I have been able to simply listen to the conversation and via the chat box ask the group for clarification which in turn allowed me to be better prepared to take a more active role at different times.


Warschauer, M. (2001) Interaction, Negotiation, and Computer-mediated Learning. Online at [accessed: October 8, 2014]

ALBION.COM and ROSS, S.T. (2011). The Core Rules of Netiquette [Online]. Last accessed on 8 October 2014 at

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