This descriptive study of the online communications of 10 teams of SMEs, classroom teachers, and K -12 students focused on the functions, frequency, and flow of e-mail messages exchanged in ~he context of curriculum-based projects. All correspondence among team members was automatically logged and then analyzed over time. Categories for message function were based on a previously published taxonomy but emerged as data analysis progressed into 21 specific classifications. Results indicated that: (1) SMEs and teachers "talked" more online, respectively, than students, even though students' inquiry was the focus of each online project; (2) participants' roles as expert, teacher, or student were associated with greater and lesser frequencies of certain message function types; (3) requests or reports directly related to curriculum content comprised a surprisingly small portion of total message functions identified; and (4) when viewed longitudinally, "reporting" and "requesting" functions followed very different frequency patterns.
Harris, J.B, & Jones, G. (1999). A descriptive study of telementoring among students, subject matter experts, and teachers: Message flow and function patterns. Journal of Research on Computing in Education, 32, 36-53.