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Instructional uses of computer-mediated text-based messaging tools: A case study of faculty and student experiences and perceptions

, University of Pittsburgh, United States

University of Pittsburgh . Awarded


Statement of the problem. As computer technologies for distance learning are increasingly being used in traditional face-to-face instruction in higher education. College instructors have found that online, interactive text-messaging tools provide opportunities for dialogue for purposes ranging from administrative “housekeeping” to reflective knowledge-building. The increasing number of college courses that blend computer technologies with traditional instruction and learning practices has created a need to understand how to use these technologies effectively. The purpose of this study was to gain insight into how computer-mediated text-based messaging tools can enhance learning when they are integrated with traditional instruction in a face-to-face course.

Method and procedures. A qualitative case study was conducted to focus on experiences and perceptions of faculty and students in a traditional (face-to-face) course that integrated use of online text-messaging tools. The Discussion Board, Virtual Classroom, email and Group Tools provided by Blackboard online course containment software were used for instructional purposes in the course.

Data collected in the form of detailed notes from one-on-one interviews and focus groups was supplemented by participants' logs of “significant experiences” and written responses to survey questions. The researcher, as observer-participant, also attended face-to-face class meetings, collected course documents, and surveyed the entire class of 60 students at the end of the semester.

Results and conclusions. In interpreting the data, the researcher learned that online communication integrated with a face-to-face class can provide ways for all students to participate in interactive dialogue and thus can promote learning by encouraging active engagement with content. However, computer-mediated communication creates critical instructional design considerations and decisions. Faculty must take complex contextual factors into account in making decisions about which types of instructional interactions are enhanced by particular computer-mediated communication tools. The contextual factors that became salient in this study impact all phases of a course, from objectives, to assignments and activities, to assessments.


DeArment, C.A. Instructional uses of computer-mediated text-based messaging tools: A case study of faculty and student experiences and perceptions. Ph.D. thesis, University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved February 25, 2021 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.

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