Interpersonal Communication and Computer Mediated Collaborative Learning: Towards a Theoretical Research Framework for Primary HIV and AIDS Prevention

Dorien Baelden

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingMeeting abstract (Book)Research


Interpersonal communication is increasingly being acknowledged as one of the ingredients for successful primary HIV and AIDS prevention interventions. However, the processes through which interpersonal communication operates, have been surprisingly underappreciated in the theoretical work on primary HIV and AIDS prevention. Therefore, based on a Meadian, symbolic-interactionist perspective, this paper seeks to theoretically address the question of how collaborative interactions can spur individuals to become critically self-reflective on how they understand the world. It is through dialogue with others that individuals can begin to reflect on their meaning schemes, which on its turn can lead to alterations in patterns of thought, social practices and eventually to social change. More in particular, this paper will discuss Mezirow's theory on transformative learning and how it can be applied to analyze the outcomes of an asynchronous computer mediated collaborative learning tool - i.e. online discussion forum - in a higher education context. Online discussion forums are increasingly being promoted as conversational tools for learning. Previous research has suggested that these asynchronous conversational platforms can enhance learning outcomes. In addition, they can be used in an anonymous way, which can be a significant advantage for discussing sensitive topics such as HIV and AIDS related issues. However, not much is known on the processes that foster changes in the meaning schemes of individuals in such a learning environment. Therefore, this paper will discuss how Mezirow's reflective action categories - content, process, and premise reflection - can be used to analyze thinking and dialogue processes on HIV and AIDS related issues in a CMCL environment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIAMCR – International Association for Media and Communication Research. 29th congress. Istanbul, Turkey, 13-17 July
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2011
EventUnknown -
Duration: 13 Jul 2011 → …


Period13/07/11 → …


  • HIV and AIDS
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Mezirow
  • Critical thinking
  • CMCL


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