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The potential of synchronous communication to enhance participation in online discussions: A case study of two e-learning courses
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Information Science, Computer Systems Sciences.
2008 (English)In: Information & Management, ISSN 0378-7206, Vol. 45, no 7, 499-506 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Computer-mediated communication (CMC) has been adopted in most e-learning settings. However, few research studies have considered the effect of different CMC. This study examined how and why synchronous communication affected participation in online discussions. Two online classes that participated in two asynchronous and two synchronous online discussions were examined. Actual and perceived measures of participation indicated that synchronous communication induced personal participation. which could be regarded as a complement to cognitive participation. Personal participation involves more intense interaction better supported by synchronous communication while cognitive participation is a more reflective type of participation supported by asynchronous communication. In synchronous discussions, the e-learners felt that they worked together and were not restricted to only discuss course content. This was likely to induce arousal and motivation and increased convergence on meaning, especially in small groups.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 45, no 7, 499-506 p.
Keyword [en]
E-learning, Online discussions, Online participation, Computer-mediated communication, Synchronous communication
National Category
Computer Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-99038DOI: 10.1016/j.im.2008.07.005ISI: 000260289100011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-99038DiVA: diva2:201991
Available from: 2009-03-06 Created: 2009-03-06 Last updated: 2011-01-04Bibliographically approved

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