The social presence of instant messaging: Effects on student satisfaction, perceived learning, and performance in distance education
Stephen James Kuyath, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, United States
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte . Awarded
This study examines the use of instant messaging (IM) for student-teacher communication in engineering technology (ET) distance education (DE) courses. IM is a simple text-based computer mediated communication technology. ET distance learners evaluated the social presence of IM and email. IM may reduce the sources of dissatisfaction cited by many DE students and improve their performance, perception of the amount of information learned, and satisfaction with a class. Instant messaging may reduce the DE student's sense of social isolation, mediate quality interactions with the instructor, reduce the distance learner's perception of the dissimilarity between the DE course and the traditional course, and facilitate instructor immediacy behaviors because IM is a relatively synchronous communication tool. In this study, ET distance learners perceived IM to be higher in social presence than email and they performed better when using IM to communicate with their instructor than they did when using email. These results are encouraging but may be specific to engineering technology DE. More studies should be done in other disciplines.
Kuyath, S.J. The social presence of instant messaging: Effects on student satisfaction, perceived learning, and performance in distance education. Ph.D. thesis, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
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