Using online seminars to demonstrate the social psychological impacts of computer-mediated communication systems
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Authors: Taylor, J.
Journal: Poceedings of the Conference on Integrating Technology into Computer Science Education, ITiCSE
This paper reports an evaluation of students' experiences when seminars were conducted asynchronously using a text-based computer-conferencing system. The primary aim was for students to experience and consider the effects of Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) on inter-personal interaction. Specifically, students were encouraged to consider how an understanding of these effects could be used to inform the design and implementation of CMC systems. Students were also encouraged to think about the differences between users in communication skills and preferences and to consider how these impact on the use and perception of CMC. The results showed that students experienced some of the effects of CMC (e.g. flaming and more balanced participation) and 79% indicated that participating in the seminars had helped them to understand the potential impact of CMC on interaction. Also, individual communication differences significantly correlated with perceptions of the seminars. For example, extrovert students perceived the seminar discussions as less satisfying and less enjoyable than traditional seminars, while self-conscious students perceived the seminars as more involving. Some recommendations are suggested for conducting future computer-mediated seminars and for further research.