Title: The Use of Computer-Mediated Communication to Enhance Subsequent Face-to-Face Discussions
Authors: Beth Dietz-Uhler and Cathy Bishop-Clark
- The study examines whether there were differences in perceived benefit or enjoyment from priming in-person conversations with computer-mediated communication such as internet chat or discussion posts
- Students perceived in-person conversations that were preceded with an online conversation to be more enjoyable and contain more diverse and interesting ideas than in-person conversations without the initial priming
- This is a smaller study n=58 where generalizability is questionable; There seems to be some significant skew within the survey results
A study assessing the effects of synchronous and asynchronous computer-mediated communication on subsequent face-to-face discussions was conducted. Participants were asked to read a short article about internet censorship. Then they were randomly assigned to one of three groups: a synchronous (internet chat) group, an asynchronous (internet discussion board) group, and a control group. Both the internet chat group and the internet discussion board group engaged in an online dialog about the article they read. They then followed the on-line dialog with a face-to-face discussion. The control group had no on-line discussion but instead immediately began a face-to-face discussion. Finally, all completed a questionnaire about their experience. The results showed that face-to-face discussions preceded by either synchronous or asynchronous computer-mediated communication were perceived to be more enjoyable and include a greater diversity of perspectives than face-to-face discussions not preceded by computer-mediated communication.
What would this look like in a course?
- Have students use discussion boards as part of their asynchronous classwork.
- Set norms around how students should respond to the discussion board and to other classmates’ discussion board posts.