ICT - Talk to the hand

Many students believe their learning suffers because the increasing use of computers deprives them of face-to-face communication, according to researchers.

The study showed that 33 per cent of 256 second-year psychology students surveyed were concerned that a lack of non-verbal cues when using text- based computer conferencing was a hindrance to their learning. The students were frustrated at being unable to see facial expressions, gestures and bodily stances.

The findings, by the Open University's Kathy Robinson and Peter Rudge of University College London Hospital, were presented to the recent British Educational Research Association annual conference at Heriot-Watt University.

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