L14.p3 - Methical Jane Perspectives on an Undisclosed Virtual Student http/jcmc.indiana.edu/vol12/issue4/nagel.html JCMC Home Submit Issues Author

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http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol12/issue4/nagel.html 1 of 22 09-03-05 08.39 JCMC Home Submit Issues Author Index Editors About JCMC Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication , 12 (4), article 10. http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol12/issue4/nagel.html Methical Jane: Perspectives on an Undisclosed Virtual Student Lynette Nagel Department for Education Innovation University of Pretoria Seugnet Blignaut Education Sciences North-West University, Potchefstroom Johannes Cronjé Informatics and Design Cape Peninsula University of Technology Go to a section in the article: Abstract We examined the ethical implications of a mythical online student with a carefully concealed real identity who took part in an online post-graduate course. The mythical online student took part in all student activities and provided co-students with cognitive and technical support as a covert second facilitator; consequently, students found scaffolding unobtrusive and integrated the unknown virtual student into the learning community. We explored the ethical implication of undisclosed identity and analyzed students' reaction to the disclosure of the mythical student after the course. The study confirmed our success in creating a convincing virtual student, but this success precipitated some shock, disbelief, and dismay. Most students accepted the presence of a virtual student, but some felt betrayed because her real identity was hidden. Recommendations for implementing such a virtual tool ethically are advanced, along with suggestions for teaching situations that may benefit from its use. Introduction Methical is a combination of mythical and ethical . This describes Jane, the virtual online student we created to improve students' online learning success. Her challenge was to be both mythical and ethical, to do no harm, and to contravene no rules. One person, the course designer, was the online facilitator, and also Jane. Despite the potential ethical dilemma created by the class thinking she was a real student, we thought the experiment of hiding a facilitator's identity was worthwhile. Ineffective course facilitation and lack of faculty communication reduce student performance, while students in online courses often feel inadequate, lonely, and unmotivated. However, as excessive instructor control can also weaken online communication, the instructor should not manipulate the course. Success increases when students amalgamate into virtual student to promote the emergence of a student community. Designing an online higher education course in South Africa presents particular challenges, because instructors
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This note was uploaded on 03/01/2011 for the course 1MD 001 taught by Professor Erikborälv during the Spring '09 term at Uppsala.

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L14.p3 - Methical Jane Perspectives on an Undisclosed Virtual Student http/jcmc.indiana.edu/vol12/issue4/nagel.html JCMC Home Submit Issues Author

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