Effects of Synchronous Communication on Graduate Students’ Online Collaboration
Nancy Maushak, ChaoHua Ou, Texas Tech University, United States
Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, in Phoenix, AZ, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-55-6 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA
Building a community of learners is an essential component of the online learning environment. The majority of research on interaction in online courses has focused primarily on asynchronous tools. This study was design primarily to examine the effects of synchronous communication on graduate students' online collaboration and their perceptions of synchronous communication. Thirty online graduate students were required to use instant messenger (IM) to discuss their group projects. Based on this experience, their posted their reflections on what they liked and disliked about synchronous communication. Content analysis of the interaction patterns in the IM transcripts revealed that synchronous communication was an effective and efficient way for their online collaboration. Students' reflections showed that they deemed it as a positive and productive experience though they ran into some scheduling and technical problems in synchronous communication. Suggestions are provided for successful design and implementation of synchronous communication for online collaboration.
Maushak, N. & Ou, C. (2005). Effects of Synchronous Communication on Graduate Students’ Online Collaboration. In C. Crawford, R. Carlsen, I. Gibson, K. McFerrin, J. Price, R. Weber & D. Willis (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2005--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 515-520). Phoenix, AZ, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).